• Ali posted an update 4 months, 3 weeks ago

    Special anniversary ideas please? It’s our 40th wedding anniversary in October and I’m looking for something really special and memorable to do for between one and four days over that weekend.

    We aren’t much into sightseeing buildings. We love food. We are adventurous but wouldn’t want to risk wind and rain outdoors. We love trains, especially steam. No horses.

    Flights possible from Manchester, two hours absolute max.

    Budget might stretch to £2,500 but it would have to ring all the bells and blow all the whistles for that.

    Any ideas guys?

    • Any little town in Italy! Fantastic food, fantastic weather, lots of outdoorsy stuff to do if you pick the area, plus those sorts of areas have very sweet little vernaculars (SP?) train things that go up the mountains.

      Lucca is lovely in particular, but I would be bored there more than a day really (although I’m very much a buildings/artyfarty type!).

    • Might not be be your cup of tea but we did a crackig weekend in york. Stayed at the Parisi, did walking tour and then spent a day at the National Rail Museum followed by dinner at Le cochon aveugle (one of top 40 Uk restaurants I think) their tastingg menu is spectacular!

      OR do the same but with fewer trains but more planes (Duxford) in Cambridge and eat at Midsummer House

      OR go and stay for a couple of days at Lucknam Park (lovely food and spa)

      Or jump on a Belmond Pullman train, friend does these regularly!

    • My sister does lots of weekend trips around Europe, she’s most recently been to Alsace. I did like her trip to Maastricht where they ate at the Chateaux Neercane. It has a Michelin star and the castle has a door that opens into the Netherlands and one into Belgium.

      Château Neercanne

      We went to Evian in France last October and the weather was glorious, great area for access to mountains and cheesy cuisine.

      I’d also love to do a tapas crawl round San Sebastian, the food is meant to be incredible

    • Train trip across that famous viaduct? The Harry Potter one? Carnforth railway station?

      Why not go into your local travel agency who will know good places to get to from Manchester. You don’t want a 4 hour transfer the other end.

    • A couple of years ago my family did a trip on the orient express which they raved about – not sure if it’s still running but worth looking at maybe?

    • Orient Express for sure…my parents did a trip on Flying Scotsman a few years ago staying in luxury hotels at either end of the journey…but cant remember exactly…might have been a London -Edinburgh trip or York- Edinburgh..could look that up to see if still doing anything. Congratulations on the longevity of your marriage!

    • I’d love the Orient Express but it’s not running on the right day

      We’ve done the Harry Potter viaduct, but great idea.

      OH is not a great traveller, so Italy probably out but sounds lovely.

      I’ll look up the other places you’ve suggested, thank you everyone.

      And thanks for the congratulations, it was a bumpy road at times, but what marriage that length isn’t?

    • Might not be your cup of tea but we stayed at the The Ritz in London for 2 nights a few weeks back and it was amazing it’s a very beautiful hotel, the restaurant is amazing it was a real experience we have stayed at many 4 and 5 star hotels and I can honestly say nothing compared to it, there is also so much to do as your in the centre of London we were just limited as I still couldn’t walk about to much because of my leg, it was my oh’s 50th birthday so some of his friends joined us for one night and they all really loved it as well.

    • A stay at Le Manoir Aux Quat’ Saisons


      It is sublime. It really is the best place I have stayed. The rooms are magnificent, the ambiance is outstanding, the food incredible, the staff amazing.

      Oxford isn’t far if you want to have a wander about.

    • What about heading down to the Cotswolds. The Gloucestershire and Warwickshire Steam Railway have just extended the route from Cheltenham all the way up to Broadway, it’s a beautiful area and there are some lovely hotels in Broadway, which has just been voted the most romantic place in the UK.

      You could base yourself in Broadway and have the option of getting the steam train down to Cheltenham for a mooch around there.

      Details on the railway here:

    • What do you like to do on a trip away and does it need to be abroad?

      • No, we don’t actually like flying these days.

        We like stuff like GoApe, but the weather will be too unpredictable in October for outdoors stuff and we are fair weather people! Steam railways, but I think we’ve done almost all the ones worth doing. Eating. A really great show. I checked cirque du soleil which we’ve never seen but it’s not on the right night. I’m toying with VIP tickets for Jeff Lynn ELO but Birmingham doesn’t inspire. We’ve done London shows too often for that to be attractive.

        We’re easy to please, but we don’t splash money around easily. We might end up just going back to the town we married in, looking at the first house we ever bought, and eating in the first Indian restaurant we ever ate in, that gave us a lifetime addiction. We could do worse, I guess.

        • Yes you could do worse.
          I think you would like Venice and although you do need to know where to eat in Venice as there’s a lot of very bad food in Venice (its unusual for Italy )it’s a magical place.
          If you choose that I can give restaurant reservations of my OH has friends who studied there and where born there .
          On UK hotels I very much like the Feversham arms in Helmsley very good food good spa small but lovely heated outdoor pool in a nice small market town with fun shops to wonder round .
          You can do a nice two hour walk before breakfast and have a late breakfast after which is very civilized.
          That would easy relaxing and fun .
          I also love Whitby the white horse and griffin is the place to stay they have a fabulous room in the harbor converted from a old pumping station it’s very very special you walk to the hotel for your breakfast I think you would like that .

          You could easily do both of these and fit in a short stay SC at the the pig sty (see the landmarktrust website)

    • We did this for our 40th a few years ago and it was fun. We caught the train from out local station where it stops to take on water. Then champagne breakfast (full English) on the way to Worchester, where we stopped. After breakfast the coffee kept coming.All along the route,on every bridge. in every field. people were there to spot the train. Had a few hours at the stop, then 3 course dinner on the way home. If you saw the kitchen carriage like we did, you would be amazed how they did all that food for so many people in such a small space.We had decided to go as the Pulmans passes the back of our house every couple of weeks or so and it looked so nice, tables all set up with cisp, white linen etc. Great excitement last year when the Flying Scotsman came by a few times, us and the neighbors all hanging out of their back bedroom windows to see it.