Travel Director Anna Forbes is based in the UK and has a passion for history, art, and all things travel. Hear what she has to say about exploring Great Britain, Ireland and Scotland on a guided vacation.
What does travel mean to you?
I have always had a passion for travel. Travel enriches my life. The diversity of cultures, languages, people and food has always fascinated me and I love the challenges you overcome and barriers you breakdown in such a short time when you immerse yourself in a foreign land, soon learning all the local customs and specialties. I have been traveling across the globe extensively for years for work and for pleasure, from exotic paradises to historic capitals and the beauty and diversity of the world is captivating and makes you want more, and there is always one more corner to explore or one more stone to overturn. I love to share this passion and experience with our guests giving them the shortcut through the backdoor to every country we visit.
What would you recommend people visit in the UK?
I have to say the Highlands in Scotland. The scenery is spectacular. Of all the places in the world I have travelled I have yet to find a more beautiful mountain range and interesting culture. Where else can you eat Haggis and toast local Whisky and listen to bagpipers piping all with a stunning backdrop of Highland mountains.
Can you describe your favorite authentic accommodation?
The Laggan Gaskmore hotel in the Highlands of Scotland is a home away from home; it is like a country lodge deep in the Highlands with tartan carpets and all! When you arrive there is a fire burning in the fireplace in the bar area and we always get together and toast to our holiday. The windows all look out on magnificent Highland scenery, the stunning mountains of the Cairngorms National Park and of course lots of sheep. It is the location in the middle of Scotland’s vast nature and the warm, cozy, homely atmosphere of the hotel that makes this my favorite place to stay in Britain and Ireland.
What’s your personal favorite place to visit in the UK?
Where to start, the Highlands of course, Bath, York, the Lake District, Dublin, The Ring of Kerry, there are too many places I love. May be my absolute favorite part of our Britain and Ireland region that I enjoy taking our guests to is Derry, in Northern Ireland, as its wonderful to enter a city at a time of so much hope and Ronan, the Local Specialist, takes our guests in and gives them an incredible guided tour of the city and helps our guests to understand the long and difficult peace process and leaves our guests feeling positive change is happening. This is an inspiring visit and I love the reaction of our guests after visiting and meeting Ronan.
How much flexibility are guests offered on a guided vacation?
There is always choice for our guests to choose whether they would like to join in the Optional Experiences running alongside our itinerary. There is also choice of how to spend the free time in each place we visit and with our 2 nights and more days there is always choice to adapt the itinerary.