Colin Crosby Heritage Tours

Top Twenty Visits of 2009

[An image showing Top Twenty Visits of 2009]As a Blue Badge Guide, I visit lots of places. A year ago, it occurred to me that it might be fun to rate the places I had been to during the previous year.

So I compiled a list of the Top Twenty. I deliberately left out places in Leicestershire and Rutland, and the surrounding area, as this is where I operate normally anyway, so visits there wouldn`t be "visits" in quite the same way.

Here is the list of the Top Twenty for 2009. It`s not compiled in any scientific way, but inclusion means that the visit was enjoyable, useful, interesting or successful.

1. Winchester. This was the destination for one of my Coach Trips, and as always it was very successful. It was the third time I had taken a party here, and as previously I incorporated my Guided Walk. I attended a Travel Fair in Winchester Cathedral.

2. Norwich. Another very successful Coach Trip, incorporating my Guided Walk. It was the second time I had taken a group here.

3. Colchester. The oldest town in the country, this is one of the places visited on one of the familiarisation days organised by Carol Jolly of Essex Tourism Association. A local Blue Badge Guide gave us a quick tour of Colchester Castle.

4. Liverpool. My wife Anne and I visited here on a Mystery Weekend run by Woods Coaches of Leicester. A local Blue Badge Guide took us on the memorable Magical Mystery Tour around places associated with the Beatles. Afterwards we visted the Tate Liverpool and the new Slavery Museum.

5. Bath. This was the destination for another very successful Coach Trip, with my Guided Walk. It was the third time I had taken a party here.

6. Southend. My home town. I visited here several times to see my mother, and my eldest daughter Theresa and her family, as well as distributing posters and leaflets. I also led my "Southend High Street" Guided Walk. Southend was also featured in another of the Essex Tourism Association`s familiarisation days, when we visited Adventure Island and the Sea Life Adventure, and had fish and chips at the Three Shells restaurant.

7. Shrewsbury. Another of my successful Coach Trips. This was the third time I had taken a group here, and as always it included my Guided Walk.

8. Cambridge. I visited this great University city as a passenger on one of Woods Coaches` trips.

9. Durham. My visit here was as a passenger, as part of a tour organised by Woods Coaches. I paid another visit to Durham Cathedral.

10. London. Several visits, including leading a number of my Guided Walks, "Royal London", "Crime and Punishment", "London`s Lost Riverside" and "Alleyways of London". I also went to several Trade Shows, and paid a quick visit to the Victoria and Albert Museum.

11. Chester. Anne and I visited here briefly as part of a Woods Coaches` Mystery Weekend. We visited the impressive St. Johns Church.

12. Lavenham. Anne and spent two nights at the Swan Inn in this wonderful old town. We visited the Guildhall and St. Peter and St. Paul Church.

13. Southwold. I took a Coach Trip to this fine seaside town, incorporating my Guided Walk. It was the third time I had taken a party there.

14. Torquay. Anne and I spent two nights here at the TLH resort. We visited Torre Abbey and followed the Agatha Christie trail along the seafront.

15. Llangollen. Anne and I spent two nights here at the Wild Pheasant Hotel on the edge of the town. We visited Plas Newydd, and had a ride on the steam railway, as well as a boat trip over the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and a gentle horse drawn canal boat trip.

16. Aldeburgh. Anne and I had a two night stay here, at the Brudenell Hotel, with a room overlooking the sea.

17. Morecambe. Anne and I stayed for one night here, at the recently renovated Midland Hotel beside Morecambe Bay.

18. Great Yarmouth. Anne and I, and our youngest son Robin, stayed at a guest house here for three nights. We visited the impressive St. Nicholas Priory Church, where we also attended a service, and had our first taste of fish and chips at a Harry Ramsden restaurant.

19. Cheltenham. Anne and I spent three nights here, with several friends, under canvas at Cheltenham Racecourse for the excellent Green Belt Festival.

20. St. Albans. Anne and I visited St. Albans, with a group from local churches, for the annual St. Albans Festival, involving a procession and services in St. Albans Abbey.