We’re a mini obsessed family, so when I found out it’s possible to book a tour of the plant in Oxford, UK, I jumped at the chance. The plant produces up to 1,000 cars per day, and the tour allows you to get up and personal with the factory to see just how that iconic British icon is manufactured.
Tours are booked in advance and cost an attractive £19 per person, they run twice a day and they keep the groups small to allow the best interaction, our group consisted of only 8 people.
Upon arrival at the plant you are free to browse the shop and information centre, here you can learn all about the history of Mini, the evolution of the brand, and see different models through the ages. Once you’ve finished you can head over to your tour group, plug in some headphones, put on an attractive overall and head off to the first factory ‘Body and White’.
Body and White is where the journey of a Mini begins. Parts are assembled by hundreds of robots and you are able to identify the three different Mini’s that are manufactured at the plant. We spent a full hour walking around the factory floor and watching both machine and technician assemble a collection of cars.
The second part of the tour took us to the Mini assembly room, here Mini’s have been through the paint shop and are being personalised to suit the order (no mini is produced without an customer from the dealership), again you spend at least an hour perusing the processes, from installation of engines to fittings of interiors, you really do see it all! Here the plant is busy with people, still heavily focused on robot’s, but you’ll see so many more technicians operating the machinery. Each car is fitted with a tracker so at each stage of the manufacturing process the machines can read the customer requirements to ensure cars are built to specification.
If your planning to visit the plant tour I’d recommend setting aside a 3 hour slot, tour guides don’t rush the process and it really is fantastic value for money. Please remember this is a working factory so wear appropriate clothing.
Almost a year to the day since we stayed with St Mary’s Inn, Morpeth, we have visited sister company Jesmond Dene House, Jesmond. This spectacular establishment oozes class and sophistication, swimming in history and elegance, it really was the most perfect way to begin our Easter break. Step away from the hustle of Newcastle City and you’ll find the quaint village of Jesmond, home to Jesmond Dene House Hotel. Perfectly situated a little over 10 minutes from the centre means visitors really do experience the best of both worlds, calm and tranquil surroundings, yet a stones throw from the inner city vibe. There’s no surprise we loved this hotel, and with their long, ever growing list of awards you’re sure to engage in an exceptional stay with Jesmond Dene House.
Rooms at Jesmond Dene House are elegant, spacious and favorably contemporary. None of the 40 bedrooms and suites are the same. Rooms are reflective of the hotel’s original character and preserve architectural features such as fire places and bay windows as they would of been displayed historically. Our room was equipped with a spectacular king size bed, perfect for a sound nights sleep! You really do have everything you need supplied at Jesmond Dene House, from the mass of complimentary lotions to the hot water bottle for those cooler winter nights.
Nestled down a little ally off the famous streets of Chester is a wonderfully quirky and contemporary restaurant and bar that hit the UK scene by storm. The Botanist, sister to The Alchemist, was always going to appeal to my heart with it’s reflective connotations of Harry Potter crossed with the Secret Garden. Myself and Sam were fortunate enough to visit the Chester branch during our recent stay in the city and will most definitely be returning very soon.
I’ve previously visited one Botanist within their chain on Boar Lane, Leeds and I confirm they achieve such a simalar ambiance. Both nestled away from the crowds, you’d be lucky to spot it without knowingly seeking, this for me makes them that little bit more special than the average bar.
Step out of the city and over the Yorkshire Moors and you find yourself in the wonderful arms of the East Riding Coast. Home to many iconic British seaside towns such as Whitby, Bridlington and Scarborough. This weekend, my fiancé and I were fortunate enough to spend an evening with a hotel in Scarborough, Ox Pasture Hall Hotel. Situated a 5 minute drive from the seafront, Ox Pasture has so much to offer. This quaint, rustic hotel is surrounded by beautiful countryside, with breath taking views visible from all angles, come all seasons this place really does gleam!
We stopped in a suite which was inclusive of a king size bed! The room was beautifully presented, spacious and has separate quarters for sleeping to a sitting room. I was highly taken by the bathroom and the large waterfall shower, the bath and its waterfall taps. Suites have the most wonderful views of the surrounding land and the over-sized panel windows really come into their own when the sun rises in the morning. I found myself admiring the views of the landscape and sheep in a neighboring field.
Africa, one continent that has always fascinated me. If you’re planning to visit then with the help of Nicole of Adventures of Lil Nicki we collated a 10 ten list of places you must see whilst road-tripping from Cape Town to Zanzibar, and if you’re looking for where to stay during your travels, you can find lots of accommodation options on Accommo Direct.
1. Cape Town, South Africa
Don’t forget to see this beautiful city before you depart from it. Make time to a get in the great views of the city from the top of Table Mountain, soak in some sun on Cape Town’s famous Clifton Beaches and Camps Bay!
From the moment you step off the long tail boat onto the island of Phi Phi your greeted with traditional tattoo parlours shamelessly displaying their array of designs and creative abilities. Bamboo tattoos are the traditional form of tattooing in Thailand. This Asian technique dates back around 3000 years and the process involves taping a needle to a bamboo rod and repeatedly tapping the needle into the skin to leave an ink mark. This tradition started with Buddists, monks would have tattoos symbolising their faith, however now, it’s more an expressive art.
It’s one of the most sort after roles a travel enthusiast can hope for and with thousands of men and women competing for the same roles within the same organisations how can you make yourself stand apart from the crowd?
To help you on your mission to bag that job of your dreams we spoke to some of the people in the know. We went to the very horses mouth to find out the tips they wish they were given before they set out on their mission to succeed.