These are anxious times for most of us and we’re going through a lot of uncertainty – but even with the UK under a strict lockdown and all of us taking extraordinary measures to curtail the spread of this pandemic, we can’t help but notice how breathtakingly beautiful the UK is.

There is a reason why we all feel this urge to reconnect with nature; its late spring and life is blossoming everywhere. Pollution levels have significantly plummeted in various parts of the country, animals are being adorable and we’re missing out.

One thing is for sure; when all this is over, we sure won’t be taking another leisurely walk through the woods or a travel trip for granted. Those of us with wanderlust cannot wait for this lockdown to end and things to go back to normal.

The lockdown is expected to end in summer so we have a long wait ahead – but if you have travel resolutions or you want to enjoy stunning destinations and soak up some sun, here are 7 serene and scenic summertime destinations you can head to:

  • Tresco, Isles of Sicily

Sprawling sandy beaches, tall palm tree, and minimal traffic are what makes Tresco special. Its also a great place to unwind and enjoy nature in its purest form because of the Abbey Garden, which was established back in 1834. In summers, the lush sun-kissed garden is in full-bloom so get ready to learn more about exotic flowers from around the world!

  • Eyam, Derbyshire

We couldn’t have completed this list without Eyam, a gorgeous little village nestled in the hills of Derbyshire. This tiny Anglo-Saxon village is gorgeous enough with its chocolate box cottages, chirping birds and scenic landscape but it’s relevant for a specific reason: In 1665, during the bubonic plague outbreak, Eyam was the first village to enforce a strict quarantine policy. The villagers faced the outbreak bravely and were successful in containing it.

  • The Isle of Wight

The Isle of Wight is great if you’re into nature at its best. Best known for its rocky coastlines and panoramic beaches, the Isle of Wight is a summer paradise. Old-fashioned beach huts are sprinkled across the island, giving it a vintage feel – and if you want to go farther back in time, drop by at Compton Bay or Yaverland Beach to see dinosaur remains and fossils.

  • The North

Head off to the North if you are a fan of harbours, unique landscapes, and coastal villages. There’s simply a lot to enjoy in the North. You can visit the coastal village of Staithes, North Yorkshire and appreciate its beauty or you can go birdwatching at Bempton Cliffs or both – the choice is yours.

  • Snowdonia, North Wales

If you want to be surrounded by nature, take a trip to Snowdonia, a peaceful, serene and solitary mountainous region located in North Wales. You can try exhilarating outdoor activities like cycling, bungee jumping and rowing or even take a long nature walk.

  • Southport

Southport has a sandy and sun-kissed beach that is worth visiting. Southport is a Victorian-era seaside town that has a lot to offer; from gorgeous and sandy beach strips to impressive architecture, botanical gardens to a vibrant nightlife featuring casinos and theatres.

  • Cornwall

Cornwall is a versatile holiday spot where you can enjoy lapping waves at a warm beach, learn about Celtic history, visit the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic, stroll in a picturesque harbor village or get a relaxing spa treatment at a resort – you can even head out with your surfboard and brave the waves if that’s what you enjoy!

 

  Travelling with a Group?

Whether you’re travelling with friends, colleagues or family, we can get you to your summer destination safe and sound. Star Coaches of Batley is a reliable and well-established minibus hire company. We offer budget-friendly coach & minibus hire in Halifax, Huddersfield, Wakefield, Bradford, Leeds, and the rest of Yorkshire.  So, if you’re wondering how to get to any destination safely and comfortably, get in touch with us!

Covid-19 Lockdown: How to Stay Safe?

The UK has been placed under a lockdown for three weeks. On March 23, Prime Minister Boris Johnson addressed the nation, requesting us all to remain indoors and avoid public travel. The prime minister also announced the closure of all non-essential businesses and banned most social events.

This extraordinary set of measures were taken to limit the further spread of coronavirus, a new virus that originated in a wet market in Wuhan, a city in Eastern China and caused a global pandemic. The coronavirus or Covid-19 has been detected in over 196 different countries and territories around the world.

As of March 25, over 8000 people tested positive for Covid-19 in the UK. The virus has killed over 437 people in the UK and the number of deaths is expected to continue rising. The situation is truly alarming.  It’s clear that if we are to control this pandemic, we need to respond collectively as a society – and the first step is to educate ourselves about Covid-19, its symptoms, and preventive guidelines.

Read on to know what the Covid-19 lockdown means for you and what you can do to keep yourself and your loved ones safe:

 What is Coronavirus?

Coronavirus disease, also known as Covid-19, is a highly infectious respiratory illness caused by a newly identified coronavirus that emerged in a wet market in Wuhan, China.

Coronaviruses are a family of zoonotic viruses, meaning they jump from animals to humans. The specific strain that caused Covid-19 disease is thought to have infected stall keepers in a seafood market where a wide range of wild animals was traded illegally.

Coronaviruses are of different types but most of them cause respiratory illness in humans. The 2002 Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARs) epidemic and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERs) were both caused by coronaviruses.

Presently, we have limited information about the novel virus that causes Covid-19 infection but researchers around the world are working tirelessly to better understand the virus itself, the symptoms it causes and its cure.

 Covid-19 Symptoms:

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), most people with coronavirus disease experience mild to moderate respiratory symptoms before recovering. However, old people and those with pre-existing health conditions are more likely to suffer from serious illness – these people suffer from pneumonia-like symptoms.

Common symptoms of Covid-19 include:

  • Respiratory issues such as wheezing and breathing difficulties
  • Sore throat
  • Persistent dry or productive cough
  • Fever
  • Shortness of breath

More severe cases may exhibit the following symptoms:

  • Pneumonia
  • High fever
  • Severe pain and body ache
  • Aggravated cough
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

*If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, the NHS recommends that you stay at home and self-isolate for at least 7 days. If your symptoms get worse or last longer than 7 days, call NHS 111. For more information, read the UK government’s guidelines

 

 How Does Covid-19 Spread?

The coronavirus is a novel disease so researchers are still figuring out how it spreads. So far, we know that the coronavirus can be transmitted from person to person through small droplets from coughs and sneezes.

When an infected person coughs or sneezes, they release small droplets of saliva or nasal discharge in the air. These minuscule droplets containing the virus either fall on people or are inhaled by them. They can also be picked up on the hands and then transferred when you touch your face.

While its highly unlikely that the Covid-19 spreads through packages and food, the virus can stay alive and stable on surfaces such as bus seats, door handles and furniture for many hours to days. There have also been reports of people without symptoms (asymptomatic individuals) transmitting the virus but we still require more research to be sure.

Is There a Cure for Covid-19?

Since the Covid-19 is caused by a virus we are completely unfamiliar with, no specific treatment or vaccine is available for coronavirus so far. It may take a while for us to properly understand the virus and develop a vaccine for it. According to the WHO, clinical trials to evaluate potential treatments are already underway.

For now, we need to take preventive measures to protect ourselves against the virus and contain its spread.

 Preventive Guidelines for Coronavirus

Small steps can make a huge difference. Here are some of the steps you can take to prevent the infection and slow its transmission:

  • Wash your hands with soap and warm water for 20 seconds. Wet your hands with water, lather them up with soap and scrub them properly. Make sure you clean the gap between your fingers, your fingertips, and thumbs properly.
  • Make it a habit to wash your hands every time you come back home.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser if water and soap are not available.
  • Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands
  • Cover your mouth with a nose and tissue paper when you cough or sneeze. Sneeze into your elbow if you don’t have tissue papers.
  • Dispose of your tissue papers and wash your hands afterward
  • Stay at home, especially if you’re feeling unwell
  • Practice social distancing, avoid unnecessary travel and keep a physical distance of at least 1 meter with others
  • If you smoke, consider cutting down or quitting altogether. Remember, the Covid-19 mainly affects the lungs and respiratory tract and smoking damages the lungs.
  • If you’re experiencing symptoms of the virus, you should review these NHS guidelines and self-isolate immediately.
  • Call your healthcare provider instead of visiting them

*Review the guidelines issued by the UK government in detail here

 Covid-19 Lockdown in the UK

Earlier on Monday evening, the prime minister enforced a stringent set of measures to stop the spread of Covid-19.

The government closed schools and ordered all non-essential businesses, including restaurants, cafes, clothing stores, gyms, rental services to shut down. Read on to know what this lockdown means for you:

How Long Will the Lockdown Last?

At least 3 weeks

Can I Go Out?

You can go out if you are:

  • Shopping for necessities such as food or medicine – but try to make your trips as infrequent as possible by using delivery services (if possible)
  • Exercising outdoors – you can run, cycle or walk alone or with members of your household once a day but gatherings of more than 2 people are banned.
  • A care provider – if you are providing care to vulnerable people or catering to medical needs
  • Commuting from work – only if you cannot work from home or if you are a key worker

What Remains Open?

Essential businesses such as supermarkets, food shops, pharmacies, health shops, petrol stations, cycle repair shops, pet shops ad banks will remain open while non-essential businesses such as restaurants, pubs, salons, apparel shops, libraries, and playgrounds will remain shut. View the complete list of essential and non-essential businesses here.

Which Social Events Are Banned?

The government has strictly advised the public to remain indoors and refrain from all social gatherings. The following events are banned in the UK lockdown:

  • Weddings
  • Religious Gatherings like Baptisms
  • Sporting events
  • Visiting family members or relatives you do not live with
  • Can I Go to Work?

Can I Use Public Transport?

If you are not a key worker, you should avoid using public transport, especially during peak hours. You may use public transport only if it is necessary.

Can the Police Arrest or Fine Me?

Yes, starting Thursday (26 March) the police will have the power to fine you for violations and even force you into self-isolation if they suspect you’re sick.

Stay Safe – Star Coaches of Batley

Established in 1982, Star Coaches of Batley is one of the top coach hire  companies in the UK. We offer reliable coach hire services in Leeds, Huddersfield, Bradford, Halifax and the rest of Yorkshire

Coach hire

London is the most populous city in the UK with over 13 million inhabitants. With a diverse range of people and cultures, it is a land where more than 300 languages are spoken.

There is a lot that you can do on your visit to this magnificent city. Here are some attractions to look out for:

  1. British Library: Talking about attractions in London, British Library is definitely not meant to be missed out of the list. It has a stock of treasures worth exploring. You’ll find scores from Mozart, Britten and more; handwritten lyrics of original Beatles; and notes from Janes Austen. Also, it owns the speech written by Queen Elizabeth I. It’s indeed an amazing place to visit.
  2. Petrie Museum: The Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology is quite a weird one. It’s inside the grounds of University College London, so you would find plenty of students there. Also, being a university museum, it has strange opening hours. But, if you have a lingering interest in anything Egyptian, it’s definitely a place for you.
  3. Wisley Gardens: You should definitely not miss out on this. You’ll notice a nice little scene when you walk through the gate. There is an old Tudor-style house with intriguing manicured lawns and waterspouts all dropping down into a beautiful fish-filled pond. The garden is full of rare species of plants and trees that you might have never seen before. You’ll find trees with orange bark and ruby red leaves. That’s not it, you will also get to see a rich collection of pink, bright blue and purple plants here. You may feel like they are colored deliberately or that they are artificial, just like a fairy tale imagination; but no they are as real as you!! In fact, the maintenance authority has got little labels around the base of plants so that the visitors can check their identity.
  4. Syon House: There are basically two things to check out at Syon: the house and the gardens; gardens being more noteworthy. They start off at a very influencing conservatory. It will somehow remind you of the Palm House at Kew Gardens. The house will win you over as soon as you step through the door. The decorations are grand, and you’ll find a lot of family portraits of the Percy’s and the Dukes of Northumberland as well as of the kings and queens. If you are an avid reader, you’ll surely get fascinated by the huge library it owns.

#Note: This place is a bit of a burger to reach. You have to get on the train to Syon Lane and then take up a 20-30-minute walk. Recommended: Hire a private vehicle, maybe your own chauffeur-driven luxury coach hire.

  1. The Tower of London: In spite of the exhausting crowds and long stairways, it is one of the finest historical attractions in Britain. The building of the Tower has about 900 years of history. As far as the bastions and battlements are concerned, they own a series of displays on the lives of British monarchs and the deaths of traitors. It’s definitely a fun-packed place where you can spend your whole day.
  2. London Zoo: The zoo opened to the public in 1847 and covers about 36 acres of land. It’s home to over 760 animal species, including the endangered ones also. You’ll find regular events happening across the site including animal displays, feeding sessions and keeper talks. Also, there are plenty of cafés and picnic spots plus the zoo offers educational and craft activities also.
  3. London Eye:As a major feature of London’s skyline, it lets the visitors explore some of the best views of the city from one of its 32 capsules. You can possibly enjoy the view of over 55 famous landmarks of London in just about 30 minutes.But the truth is that if you want to travel these days to cities like London in a group or otherwise you can go via plane, train, car or you can use a bus charter service, especially if you need to carry nine or more people. Hiring a bus service can be quite a nice change of pace and can be a lot less expensive than flying. If you are a company or an organization that needs to carry people for a long distance, chartering a bus makes a lot of sense. If you’ve ever had experience with public transportation, you’ve no doubt ridden on uncomfortable vinyl seats, bumpy rides, and no luxuries. A school bus is a good example. But to charter a bus, the experience is altogether different.

The benefits of a bus charter service are many. For one thing, each person will have the opportunity to sit back and relax the entire trip. Enjoy watching the scenery go by. Take naps. You can’t do this if you are driving. Unless you fly first class, there’s not a lot of room for real relaxation on an airplane either. A bus service will allow you to set the itinerary to what you need it to be. You can even set the roads, if you wish to take your passengers through a more scenic route, you can. If you wish to stop more often, you can.

To rent from a coach hire service means you can count on both the experience of the bus driver and be assured the bus has been well maintained. Make sure to really research the bus service, drill them about their maintenance and find out the last time the bus needed service or a repair. Ask them what they do should a breakdown happen. There are many coach hire companies out there , and be sure to check each and everything before you hire them.

In case you are wondering about that where would I find a coach hire near me, then check this out!

luxury coach for hire

Going somewhere with a group? Whether you’re travelling in the UK with family, friends, relatives or coworkers, you probably want your travel experience to be as smooth as possible. One way you can accomplish that is by looking up luxury coaches for hire  in your area.

Luxury coaches are special coaches that offer a comfortable and safe travel experience. Most luxury coaches available for hire come with inbuilt features and additional amenities such as the internet, reading lights, and sound systems.

Private coach hire has emerged as a popular means of travelling long distance in the UK. Most private coach hire companies offer a wide variety of vehicles including private coaches, minibuses and coaches for hire – and with so many options out there in the market, it can get difficult to pick the right coach for your entourage.

That’s why we have composed a list of tips to help you hire a budget-friendly and reliable luxury coach service for your trip:

   1.List Your Requirements

It’s important to plan ahead of your trip and gather basic booking details. Remember, your ultimate goal as a trip planner is to ensure that everyone has a comfortable and pleasant journey- and for that you need to be as inclusive as possible.

If you’re travelling with a group, find out how many adults and children will be travelling with you. Will there be any differently-abled passengers who would require additional amenities? How much luggage is everyone planning on taking along, are some of the questions you should ask at this stage. Make a checklist of all your requirements and keep it with you.

   2.Consider the Size, Capacity, and Condition of the Vehicle

Now that you have gathered basic booking details, you can decide on the size and capacity of the vehicle. You want to select a vehicle that has enough room to accommodate everyone.

If you’re travelling long-distance, you also want to make sure the luxury coach you select for your journey has ample space for everyone to move around freely. Book a vehicle that’s roomy and offers extra leg space.

If you know how much luggage you’re taking with you, check the cargo specifications of your luxury coach as well. Make sure the cargo compartment can contain everyone’s luggage. Also, check if your luxury coach has space for hand carries.

Remember, you’re paying for a luxury coach and you want a smooth journey, not an old sputtering coach that breaks down after every mile and causes delays. That’s why its really important to check the age and condition of the vehicle, prior to your journey. You can even request a test drive to check if your luxury coach is in prime condition.

   3.Pick an Established Private Coach Hire Service

If you’re travelling with a group of loved ones, one of your key concerns should be everyone’s safety and comfort. You want to pick a private coach hire company that is established and has enough experience in catering to the travel requirements of businesses or individuals. That’s why business experience and repute are two of the key factors you should consider.

Always go for a private coach hire service  that has years of experience, positive reviews, and good ratings. Also, check for relevant documentation such as permits and licenses pre-hand to make sure you’re hiring a professional service.

   4.Politely Request the Driver’s Credentials

One of the best things about private coach hire is that its usually accompanied by a professional driver so you don’t have to drive yourself. Good private coach hire services recruit experienced drivers who are familiar with the routes.

You can always politely request driver credentials and make sure you’re hiring someone experienced and professional. You can check for driving licenses, permits and other information prior to your trip.

   5.Cost-Benefit Comparison

Luxury coaches for hire come in many sizes and models. Most of them offer features and amenities that standard buses do not. In order to make an informed decision, you need to weigh out the benefits against the costs.

Some luxury coaches available for hire cost slightly more than regular buses but also offer additional features to cater to the luxury requirements of various groups. These requirements may vary; you may need internet and reading lights if you’re travelling with coworkers, a music system if you’re going somewhere with friends or a mini-fridge and mood lights if you hire a school coach for educational purposes.

Check what features your private coach hire service offers and then weigh them out against the price. Some luxury coaches for hire cost a little more but offer excellent services, professional staff, and extra amenities that are worth paying extra for.

You can compare luxury coaches  online. See if you’re getting all your features within a reasonable price range, then shop around for quotes. You should always compare quotes, the general rule of thumb is to check with at least 3-4 coach and minibus hire companies in your area

From bird spotting in the scenic Norfolk marshes to catching a glimpse of the breathtakingly beautiful northern lights in Ireland, from a fun ski trip in the Scottish highlands to a leisurely walk in the Isles of Scilly, you might not know it but there is a lot you can enjoy in the UK and Ireland during wintertime.

Get your travel bags ready! Because the UK and Ireland are every bit worth exploring during the winter season. Here are 5 gorgeous winter destinations that we at Star Coaches of Batley feel you are sure to fall in love with at first sight:

 1) Tresco, Isles of Scilly

Located only 28 miles from the coast of Cornwall, Tresco is the second biggest island of the stunning Isles of Sicily. The private-owned island with its wonderful panoramas, scenic beaches, and temperate climate is nothing short of a subtropical paradise.

The Isles of Scilly are pretty warm and temperatures are generally consistent with mild variations throughout the year. During the wintertime, when the rest of the UK is grey, rainy and hostile, the temperatures in Tresco are relatively moderate, thanks to the maritime effect.

Tresco is best known for Abbey Garden – a historic 19th-century garden that has around 20,000 sub-tropical plants from around the world. Tresco also has tasteful art galleries for the art enthusiasts, chic cafes for the foodies and an amazing spa if you want to unwind!

Cairngorms

2) The Cairngorms, The Scottish Highlands

Want to have an action-filled winter? Head to the Scottish Highlands for a winter sports retreat! The Cairngorms are a majestic mountain range located in the Scottish Highlands. The Cairngorms National Park has a distinct terrain that is perfect for skiers and snowboarders of all levels. Some of the best off-piste slopes are present in the Glas Maol mountain range.

If you do head to Cairngorm, do not miss out on the chance to hand feed the wild and free Cairngorm Reindeer Herd that roams the mountain ranges. Daily guided trips leave for herd spotting, all year round.

3) Cley Marshes, Norfolk

This winter destination is perfect for nature lovers. Cley Marshes is a huge nature reserve located just outside the village of Cley Next The Sea in Norfolk. The marshes are best known for their unique topographical features and flora & fauna.

During winters, the mudflats and salt marshes are brimming with life. In fact, winter is announced by the arrival of flocks of pink-footed geese from their breeding grounds in Greenland and Iceland. These exquisite birds feast on the sugar beet stalks left behind by the local farmers and fly back in gorgeous formations during the dusk time.

You get to see more wildlife during December and January when Grey seals and Common seals begin welcoming adorable pups into their families. Guided seal trips leave routinely from Morston Quay if you want to say hello to baby seals!

4) Portmeirion Village, North Wales

An enchanting 130-acre village set amidst woodlands and lush gardens, Portmeirion village is the place to be during winters if you enjoy the rich culture and historic architecture.

The picturesque Portmeirion village makes the perfect winter destination because of a special weather feature called the ‘Fohn’s effect’. Warm dry winds blow down the nearby mountains and sweep this fairytale Welsh village during the winters, keeping its weather mild.

The historic village is known for its Italian architecture, gorgeous beaches, and well-tended wild gardens. It also hosts several cultural, musical and seasonal festivals around the year. Its also a foodies paradise with thanks to its award-winning restaurants and dainty little cafes.

5) The Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland

The Wild Atlantic Way is a 1500-mile strip that runs along Ireland’s west coast. If you are not one for crowded destinations, you need a trip to the Wild Atlantic Way. The strip, with its secluded bays, wild headlands, and hills, is for those who prefer quiet and solitude – and sheep because the area is also known for its wool farms.

If you visit the Wild Atlantic Way during winters, you might even be able to catch a glimpse of the northern lights too. The Aurora Borealis can be sighted from the Northern Highlands on a clear, calm and unpolluted night.

The Wild Atlantic Way with its galleries, cafes and colourful nightlife also gives visitors a chance to enjoy Irish hospitality, experience authentic Irish culture and sample local seafood, which the region is famous for.

Tips for Better Travel

The UK and Ireland have truly beautiful winter destinations, with diverse experiences to offer to travelers. If you are planning on traveling this winter, here’s a checklist we at Star Coaches of Batley have made for you:

  • Finalise your travel arrangements at least 2-3 months before you set off.
  • Make hotel reservations and book your travel arrangements in advance.
  • If you are traveling by plane, make your bookings at least 4-6 months before your arrival dates for cheaper tickets.
  • Research the weather and pack accordingly so you can stay merry and warm!
  • Plan out the activities and events you’re planning on attending and make reservations for them pre-hand.
  • If you are traveling on a budget or with a group, consider hiring a coach or a minibus. Star Coaches of Batley is a reliable minibus & coach hire service in Leeds, Bradford, Halifax and the rest of West Yorkshire for travel across the UK.

Have a safe and happy journey!

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