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THE SENIOR TRAVELLER July, 2010 3
The Senior Traveller is a free liftout
with The Senior, published monthly
in NSW and the ACT, Queensland,
Victoria, Western Australia, South
Australia and Tasmania.
Sue Preston, PO Box 212 Northcote,
Victoria 3070, phone 0421-543-622
Michelle Carter, phone 1800-001-987
NEXT month, it's New Zealand's
turn to shine when we cross
We'll take you to Napier, the art
deco capital, and preview the
Wings Over Wairarapa Airshow.
And we'll look at the range of spe-
cial tours on the market, from
fully-escorted extended tours to
special interest tours such as gar-
dening, bowls, trains or cruising.
People are now realising that
cities like Auckland, Wellington
and Christchurch are perfect for a
short break. We'll tell you how to
make the most of three or four
by PAUL GRANSTON
THE entire land mass of Great Britain
could fit into the Australian continent
about 30 times over. Yet despite its size, it is
packed with more than 5000 years of archi-
tectural history, from ancient burial
mounds and stone circles to soaring castles.
For most of us who like to travel, the
challenge nowadays is to get value for
The Great British Heritage Pass pro-
vides access to nearly 600 famous sites
throughout England, Scotland, Wales and
Northern Ireland -- and the more proper-
ties you visit, the bigger the savings.
With a pass there is no need to queue for
a ticket or carry extra cash.
But the key to getting value for money
from it is to do your research beforehand --
most libraries have an ample supply of
good travel books -- and plan ahead. After
all, there is little to be gained by visiting
only $80 worth of properties on a 15-day
pass which, in effect, will cost you $142.
Heritage passes are validated from the
very first visit and run for consecutive
days, so it is no good simply using it if you
stumble upon a place. In that case, it would
be cheaper to simply pay as you enter.
Museums and galleries in London are
among the world's finest and most are free,
so these should be visited before validating
It may be worth doing a number of her-
itage sites in London over several days and
then, perhaps, visiting somewhere like
Bath where there are numerous other pos-
sibilities in relatively close proximity. This
might all be managed on a seven-day pass.
It's no use visiting one site and then
spending days travelling to the next (you
will, in effect, have wasted those days).
Remember, the onus is on continuous and
judicious use once the pass is validated.
Many sites are vast and set in extensive
grounds, so to do the experience justice you
may need to linger for half a day or more.
A stately manor or intact castle with
extensive displays of armour, family heir-
looms and furnishings will take longer to
explore than the shell of some ruin.
Entry fees to many properties can be
hefty. Kensington Palace, for example, is
about $40 per adult, so this is where the
pass can be a great cost saver. Several simi-
larly priced visits will see you well on the
way to recouping its cost.
Beaulieu, near Southampton, is a multi-
purpose facility comprising the world-
renowned National Motor Museum, Palace
House and an ancient Cistercian Abbey.
At around $35 per adult it is one of the
more pricey sites, but there is plenty to
keep you occupied for an entire day. Indeed
the authorities acknowledge this and
Britain has a wealth of historic treasures and sights to enjoy. Photo courtesy Britainonview.
Don't pass up
promise free entry on a second visit if
taken within a week of the first, though
this is of little benefit to pass holders.
The vast majority of properties under
Heritage care are extremely old and the
costs for maintenance, repairs, upkeep of
grounds and staff are enormous -- hence
the seemingly steep fee for some.
Properties that do not charge for admis-
sion (many churches and cathedrals)
depend on donations. It is worth remem-
bering that monies raised this way are used
to preserve centuries of history and ensure
that these architectural treasures survive
for the enjoyment of generations to come.
To stand beside the tombs of national
leaders, wander the grounds in which
Churchill played as a child, or to simply
gaze from a window at which Shakespeare
penned his works, enables you, albeit
briefly, to become a part of history itself.
AUSTRALIA'S official guide to
holidays in Britain --
www.visitbritain.com.au -- is an
excellent source of information.
Once you have purchased the
Great British Heritage Pass from
the website you will receive an e-
voucher valid for 12 months. You
then exchange the e-voucher for
the pass at one of eight
exchange centres around Britain.
You will receive an illustrated
guide to all the properties,
together with a map of Great
Britain to help you plan your
Passes are valid for either four,
seven, 15 or 30 consecutive days
only. Prices are $75, $109, $142
and $192 respectively. They are
open-dated and start from the
first attraction you visit.
Wherever you go...
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• Covers domestic and overseas travel
• Competitive prices: low-premium policies from $49 for
international single-trip travellers
Terms, conditions and exclusions apply.
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