Saturday, 25 October 2014

Bus holiday to Folkstone,Canterbury,Calais and Bruges. October 2014

The tour bus.

Our hotel built to resemble a ship.

A replica spitfire

The main reason for our visit

to remember my father.

We also visited this museum at Marston

This spitfire has been beautifully restored

the lovely sunny town of Deal, England

Anne attempting to navigate us round Bruges in Belguim.

the main square.

Colourful beach huts in Folkstone.

A victorian cable railway

Adjusting the water weights before we set off

we both hope they get it right!!

One of many world war 11 lookout towers on the Kent coast

reminds you of Dame Vera Lynn
On Monday October 20 Anne and I left Glasgow on a 4 day coach trip to Folkstone in Kent with day trips to Calais,Bruges,Canterbury and many places of interest.Arriving at our hotel the Grand Burstin  situated at the harbour in Folkstone we checked in to a pleasant room overlooking the Channel with lots of boats passing by on their way to  ports around the globe. The hotel was very clean with good wholesome food only downside was it is used by so many different tour operators that the decor and furnishings could do with a wee bit of upgrading. Up early on the Tuesday and our coach took us the short trip to the Channel Tunnel where we boarded the train and 30 minutes later we were in France and off to the local hypermarket to stock up mainly on alcohol products. Next we were whisked off to Belgium to a tobacco warehouse for more cheap fags and chocolates. Lunch was in the beautiful city of Bruges with all its churches and old buildings. Back on the coach and in a fairly short time we were soon back in the tunnel  to England having successfully avoided several hundred assylum  seekers trying to smuggle themselves onto any of the buses or lorries as they waited in the queue to board the train Pleasant meal in the evening followed by a visit to the local Wetherspoons for some fine real ales.Wednesday was our day to visit some memorial sites to the Battle of Britain where my father proudly served his country as a spitfire pilot back in 1941. There is lots of memorabilia at a new museum situated on top of the cliffs outside Folkstone in a town called Capel Le Ferne, my father is remembered on a wall alongside all other airmen who flew in this major  battle.Next stop was a museum situated at Marsden Airport which co-incidentally is owned Anne Gloag of Stagecoach bus fame who is not very popular with the locals as her plans for the future of the airport is for new housing. This museum houses an actual Spitfire that flew in the war and has been painstakingly restored by a team of enthusiasts. Canterbury city in the afternoon was interesting with lots of old buldings and hundreds of tourists enjoying the famous cathedral.Again after dinner we ventured out to Wetherspoons to round off a very pleasant interesting day.On Thursday it was a relatively free day to explore the town of Folkstone and generally have good walk in an area we really have only passed through earlier on in our lives en route to France. Early bed as it was off sharp on Friday morning for the long coach journey home with our fellow passengers who had now fully stocked themselves up with enough cigarettes and alcohol to last them until their next trip, some of them make regular crossings to France using the opportunity to combine their shopping with a wee holiday.In conclusion for the money we paid (£129 each) it was well worth it for 5 days away to a milder climate at this time of the year with all the coach trips included and the services of a guide to point out lots of interesting places to visit.We will definitely do another bus holiday in the near future.


  1. Lovely trip Gordon, never knew that about your dad. My Uncle David was a flyer who died in a flying boat accident just after the end of the war. He's remembered in a book in Edinburgh Castle and on a headstone in Kisumu cemetery, Kenya.

    Have you looked on the website. It's possible you'll find your dad remembered on there too. I found my Uncle David and if I ever get over I'll know where the headstone is.

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