Smile you are with Shearings!
Shearings give you the confidence to smile, relax and enjoy your holiday, whilst all the things that make travel stressful are all taken care of. The booking arrangements are clear and straight forward whether you are a couple, single, have a disability, need dietary requirements or you would like the balcony with the sea view. Shearings will go the ‘extra mile’ to make sure you get the best possible holiday at the best possible price.
With so many holidays to choose from we decided that historic Bournemouth and the surrounding areas would be an interesting Spring break.
The Savoy Hotel one of Shearings Bay Hotels was an excellent choice. A large well cared for hotel with extensive grounds and a swimming pool with a path that leads down to the beach area.
The journey started at Normanton where we left our car for the week, but if you want to leave the car at home then contact Shearings with a view to getting the feeder coach from your nearest town that will take you either to Normanton or Woodall Services to get on your chosen holiday coach.
Glyn’s tip: If you chose a long journey remember to move your feet and legs whilst sitting or wear flight socks, to avoid swollen ankles. Also, Shearings do allow you to take food and drinks on the coach, but please take care of the beautiful coaches and take your litter off – your driver will advise you on the ‘etiquette’ of the coach.
Comfort stops are frequent and a stop for lunch is mandatory so if you do not wish to take food or drinks on your journey the service station stops provide lots of food to keep sustained until you reach your destination.
The accommodation at the Savoy Hotel is generally on a half board basis. With a good buffet breakfast and table service with a three-course meal for dinner. The menu is good and wholesome but not cordon bleu, but the staff and the chefs do an amazing job to cater for such a variety of people and tastes.
The hotel provides entertainment in the lounge three times per week and many seniors do ‘cut a rug’ (dance) every evening and thoroughly enjoy it. Alternatively, sitting on the veranda of the Savoy Hotel looking over the beautiful gardens with a glass of wine or a cup of coffee after your evening meal – weather permitting – is very pleasant indeed.
The hotel grounds lead down to the walkway that takes you down to the beach. This is a steep zig-zag or you can just walk a few hundred yards and get the West Cliff Lift down to the beach at the cost of £1.70pp. It is good to walk down and ride up! You can also get a bus into the centre of Bournemouth from the stop which is a short walk from the hotel. (Don’t forget your bus pass!).
If you have a disability Shearings will take care of you on the coaches. Rollators or wheelchairs can be stored in the luggage area of the coach (please inform Shearings to advise them of your disability when booking). Remember you have to negotiate the steps on to the coaches, so you have to be able to walk when you get on the coach.
The Savoy Hotel does have a lift, although small can accommodate a wheelchair with a carer. The downstairs lounge and dining room are on the level as is the patio overlooking the garden. The gardens do have disabled walkways to access the area, but we found that the side gate on to the pavement of the side street by the hotel was more accessible for wheelchairs.
If you do not wish to take your wheelchair with you, telephone the hotel and they will organise a wheelchair supplier to contact you for your details and dates of your visit and payment. You can hire either a wheelchair or mobility scooter to use whilst you are in Bournemouth. The cost for the wheelchair is £8 per day, we hired one for my disabled sister and it was very successful.
Bournemouth has beautiful, clean beaches surrounded by hundreds of beach huts, all brightly painted that sit waiting for occupation. The Bournemouth Gardens are also stunning with lots of colour and places to sit and watch the world go by. One main feature is the Aquarium which is situated near the Bournemouth Pier both popular attractions, which are popular for the young and old.
The town centre is busy and cosmopolitan with lots of shops and restaurants, but the Bournemouth life is centred on the beach. The beach walkway that stretches for miles and gives people the opportunity to stay fit. Walking, walking the dogs, jogging and cycling is very popular in this area.
Shearings organise trips and optional days out to the surrounding areas. Our holiday included a trip to Salisbury and Southampton. The optional outings (at the added cost of £8.50pp) were to Bournemouth and Sandbanks and another to Dorchester. We chose the Salisbury afternoon outing, which was included. Salisbury is a market town with many interesting features.
The main feature of Salisbury is the Cathedral which stands proud and can be seen all over the city. The Cathedral spire stands at 123 metres – the highest in the country. The Cathedral is a ‘must’ to see when visiting Salisbury, the front is spectacular, and the artefacts are beautifully cared for and of course this is the place for the Magna Carta.
Glyn’s tip: Don’t be put off by the cost of entry donation to the Cathedral, which most of our party were. At the entrance there is a desk that takes money and the suggested price is £7.50, but that is a voluntary price, not obligatory. The entry donation is important to the upkeep of the Cathedral but read the small print before you go in.
The following day was the optional trip to Dorchester, another very interesting place to visit. We went through Tolpuddle, the home of the Tolpuddle Martyrs and saw the home of Laurence of Arabia a cottage called Clouds Hill and sadly saw the road he died on when he crashed his motorbike into a tree.
Thomas Hardy lived and wrote in the Dorchester area and many of his novels where set around this market town. Our very informative Shearings driver gave us an excellent commentary as we drove from Bournemouth to Dorchester which takes approximately an hour and a half.
We decided to go it alone on the following day and took the service bus to Poole. The number M1 bus from Poole Hill, which is a five-minute walk from the hotel, takes you to the Poole bus station which is next to the Dolphin Shopping Centre.
Poole is very impressive with its excellent shopping centre that leads to the stunning harbour. From Poole Harbour, boats sail to Brownsea Island. This wooded area has trails and wildlife plus a 16th century Brownsea Castle, now a private hotel.
Wander around the old town or gaze at the super yachts built by Sunseeker boats who have their headquarters there. Go on a fact-finding trip to see how the RNLI boatmen train. The tour cost £7.50 per person and is very informative.
There is so much to see and do in this area of Dorset and a few days only give you a taster and our short visit was almost over. Shearings certainly know how to travel, visit their website shearings.com or phone 01942 417957 for a brochure.
Whether you are going in the UK or Ireland or Britain and Europe Shearings will give you the confidence, flexibility and freedom for you to bring back home happy memories, they should do as they have been doing it for over 100 years. And that makes me smile.
We are sorry to advise that the Specialist Leisure Group, which includes Shearings, entered administration on 22 May 2020. If you have booked a holiday with Shearings, or you have any questions please visit the Shearings website.