There is just less than a month to go for the award-winning Pirates Weekend Plymouth! A weekend that offers a swashbuckling weekend of free fun for all the family to enjoy. What’s more; the sun always shines on Pirates!
This amazing weekend is organised by the Plymouth Waterfront Partnership Business Improvement District. It is one of THE most amazing weekends in Plymouth and this year takes place on Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 May. Britain’s Ocean City becomes alive with merry activities as the weekend unfolds across the Barbican, Sutton Harbour and West Hoe.
Meaning you wont miss a thing!
What’s It All About?
Well! What you can be sure of is two amazing days packed full of entertainment and activities. Including a pirate trail, storytellers, puppet shows, arts and crafts activities, street entertainment, amazing food and much more!
Sarah Gibson, Waterfront Manager and Chief Executive of the Plymouth Waterfront Partnership, said:
“Pirates Weekend Plymouth won Silver at the 2018 Devon Tourism Awards for Tourism Event and Festival of the Year as the best family Pirates Weekend in the South West. Designed and funded by Waterfront businesses, Pirates Weekend Plymouth has activities linking the Barbican, Sutton Harbour and West Hoe Park, whilst Mount Batten Pirates powerboat experiences and PDSSA pirate sailing lessons will give visitors a treat to get out onto the water too.”
“In its eighth year, Pirates Weekend Plymouth is unmissable – so get yourselves dressed up as pirates and come along for two days of brilliant fun!”
What To Wear..!
What’s not to wear! We say go crazy with those head scarfs and eye patches; fancy dress is encouraged throughout the weekend; and new for this year is a Pirate Parade, sponsored by Lazy Jacks. Led by the The Drake Corps of Drums and the infamous Jonty Depp, all of Plymouth’s pirates will march through the streets of the Barbican together.
Every young participant dressed as a pirate will be given a special gift!
Children can also follow a Pirate Trail around the Barbican and Sutton Harbour, this is amazing fun for them and you get to see the sights whilst they are totally entertained! This event is sponsored by Sutton Harbour Group.
You can find maps from the Tourist Information Centre for just £2, every participant will receive a prize for completing the trail and also be entered into a draw to win a Lego Creator set.
A full programme of shanty bands will entertain the crowds between 10.30am and 3pm each day. The area will be full of action in a number of locations: along Southside Street, outside Capn’ Jaspers and on board the Grayhound tall ship.
For more information about all the activities at this year’s Pirates Weekend Plymouth, head to visitplymouth.co.uk.
What we know for sure – you will have an amazing time!
It’s really no big surprise to us that the UK receives more than 30 million tourists a year!
Which ranks us in the top 10 most visited countries in the whole world!
When you work in Tourism, you see first-hand how truly blessed we are here in Plymouth; with our hugely diverse landscape, sandy beaches just a short drive away, hidden coves, moorland and more!
With all this on the New Continental Hotels doorstep; we love hearing our guests’ talk of their explorations and their ‘Devon Discoveries’!
With 2020 now in sight, and the big celebration of the Mayflower voyage 400 years ago; we take a look back at holidays gone by. We make our own predictions when we ask:
“What might the future look like for travel?”
Jetting off to foreign lands will always hold a certain sense of adventure. Like for those that we will commemorate on the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower, who sailed from Plymouth to America; carrying the pilgrims who founded the modern United States.
They were off to foreign lands for an ‘adventure’ – but how we choose to ‘holiday’ has changed so much throughout time.
The travel industry is a sector that will always undergo dramatic transformations; be that due to digital revolutions, fashionable trends, politics or the social and economic climate.
What has never changed though, is why we holiday; it’s to make wonderful memories.
That’s what we love to be part of, and that is why no matter what transformations take place; our passion for holidaying here at the New Continental Hotel and in Plymouth will never fade.
Holidays Gone By…
It was in 1841, Thomas Cook started the holiday industry rolling with their ground-breaking offer of a shilling-a-head rail excursion from Leicester to Loughborough! Then followed swiftly in the 1870s, with the Lancashire cotton workers, who really helped develop UK holidaying. They saved all year to convert the traditional (unpaid) one-week holiday into seaside breaks. A chance for the whole family to come together and enjoy each other’s company; without the stresses of everyday life!
Then, 80 years ago in 1939, we saw holiday leave became a legal right for employees! And by 1975 most people had at least two weeks’ paid holiday a year!
For the rich jet setters 1976 saw the supersonic aircraft Concorde enter commercial services; people could now cross the Atlantic in a record 2 hours 52 minutes!!
Fast forward to 1979; a year when for the first time in history we spent more on overseas holidays than on holidays at home!
Why was this?
Well, for £50 you could spend a week in the glamorous Majorca – with the sun on your back and hotel bedrooms that had balconies and ensuite bathrooms!
And, when we talk about an industry that can be transformed overnight by factors such as social media and digital revolutions; could it also be perhaps transformed by TV?!?
In 1975, a new comedy aired on BBC2; Faulty Towers! A hilarious comedy that neatly exaggerated bad hospitality in the UK..! Could that have helped galvanise holiday’s abroad Vs staycations?!
Perhaps – but the way we book holidays today would certainly look like science fiction to the holidaymaker of the 70’s; actually, probably to those in the early 90s too!
Package holidays were sold mainly from high street agencies, the only reviews in the 90’s were from friends at dinner tables. Travellers had little real clue what to expect before they arrived. Internet access was limited and the Smartphone still in development, holidaying in the 90’s was a very different kettle of fish!
Now, in 2019, we can see another big shift! The Staycation!
Our favourite for obvious reasons! Travellers searching for better value breaks, with a growing demand for interesting destinations closer to home. Destinations like Plymouth, that have a plethora of history, heritage and beautiful vistas!
Interestingly, here at the New Continental Hotel, we have also noticed a connection that we like to call: the ‘nostalgic staycation’!
If we look back to the early 80’s, when the UK entered a recession – with falling output, rising unemployment and a fall in the inflation rate; if holidays were taken, they were taken in the UK and just a short drive away from home – due to fuel prices.
We have had many conversations with adults holidaying with us, those in their 40’s, who are bringing their family back to Plymouth to relive their childhood memories.
The time was tough for families – but the holiday memories were so magical they want their children to experience them.
2018 proved to be a really successful year for the staycation market; we have also noticed that this year looks like more and more families, friends and couples are also choosing to holiday in Plymouth. And that makes us immensely proud.
We ask our guests what the ingredients are for a perfect holiday at home. Top is obviously a great location; but also an extra eye for the details that matter, whether it’s parking, or high speed Wi-Fi, or a warm family welcome. It’s these thoughtful touches that make our family owned hotel a winner for many holidayers; those from both home and away!
Throughout the years; tourism has been the lifeblood of many communities up and down the UK and many travellers are realising the fun to be had by discovering what’s on offer just beyond their doorstep.
What can we expect in the year 2039 – 20 years from now? Perhaps we will be sitting on-board a pilotless plane; with a chip in our wrist that tells the robot with the trolley our dietary requirements, and the exact temperature we like our Gin? Maybe we will all have a programme that aids us when speaking languages. Or no luggage as hotels will know what we want and our disposal holiday wares will be waiting for us. Or electronic implants that pay as we check-in..?
Who knows what our holidaying will look like 20 years from now; but one thing I am sure we can all be certain of; holidaying will always be that moment in time that we make magical memories … together. Like those on the Mayflower setting off on their adventures. Regardless of where we go, or why we go, or how we get there, or what we experience along the way; holidaying will always be about togetherness.
Whatever the future has in store; the wonderful world of holidays will always be exciting, because we will be with the people we love.
So, here’s to the next two decades of Devon adventures; of Plymouth exploring; and a hotel that hopes to help you create wonderful memories in Britain’s Ocean City.
As the great Easter getaways are being planned, the roads will soon be full of families making their Easter road-trips!
Q)Are your toes already tingling at the thought?!?
Many of us here at the hotel are parents. Parents of babies, toddlers, teens and proud Grandparents too. Most of us have had (or have) regular challenges when it comes to car journeys – both long and short!
Finding your own way to make it is essential – we all have different needs and varying tolerance levels – especially when driving!
We want you to arrive in Plymouth full of beans – not full of fury! So, we asked some of our amazing parents and grandparents who are staff here at the New Continental Hotel, if they would share some of their tips, on how to keep both children and parents happy on their car journeys!
These tips are great for either nipping down the road to swimming lessons (which can be just a gruelling sometimes!) or making the four hour motorway trip to visit family!!
We welcome many families during the Easter Holidays and sometimes, as they walk through the foyer, after their family road trip, we can feel their pain!
Parents who are wearing the signs of being road warriors; and children eager to get out of the ‘tin can’ and stretch those legs!
We all have our own techniques; for some it’s taking favourite toys; making regular ‘adventure stops’ or travelling at night!
Here are some of the methods staff at the New Continental Use…
Charlie | Head Of Housekeeping | Grandchild
Charlie is a super proud Nana! And although her Grandson is now almost old enough to drive her around; Charlie is a big fan of her IPad and so we asked her to search for something that could offer some ‘techy’ aid for the travelling family!
Her tips for surviving a car journey – load your IPad with these FREE APPS!
Talking Tom Cat
Talking Tom Cat is a virtual pet cat that’ll keep children engrossed for long periods of time, making him purr when they stroke him and drink when they pour him a glass of milk. He’ll distract them, make them laugh and I am sure offer hours of entertainment! You may want to turn the volume down a little – he repeats what they say in a rather high pitch voice! They will love it – but the adults in the car not so much (especially after the first few times!)
Pineapple Studio Jigsaw Puzzles
This is a great traditional style game; I really liked it because it cleverly fused old with digital! The electronic jigsaw – no need to hunt the car for pieces at every pit-stop with this one! This app features Toy Story, Twilight, Cars, The Simpsons and other options. I think it will be a winner – if only for 20 minutes or so!
Music is a winner and this is a really great, fun, creative app. It lets you compose your own music by tapping objects. I really liked it!! It might be a bit noisy though! So, although it will keep them happy – I might consider the option of headphones!
Claire | Events Coordinator | 6 Year Old Daughter
Claire is one of our super organised Mums. The Mum we all aspire to be like. The Mum that stays up late to bake for the PTFA and who knows her way around great Tupperware!
Being both super organised and a regular road trip maker; her tip for surviving a family road trip – plenty of snacks (and wet-wipes!)!
“We travel a great deal to visit family and friends – by both car and ferry. So we have learnt lots of tricks to keep our little one happy! The tried and tested favourite for us is making sure we pack lots of healthy snacks (and some treats of course!) Some might say I pack enough to feed an army – but you can never be too prepared!”
Here are some great ideas – many that are favourites in our four wheels!
Boots also do some great Tupperware, with lids that really keep things in!
Katie | Events Coordinator | 18 Month Old Son
Katie is what we call ‘the cool Mum’ – she is fun and always busy doing fun and creative things with her little man.
Her tip is to prepare your spotify for the journey!
‘I have quickly learnt that: a) I may never listen to my own music in the car again and b) to get over the embarrassment of bobbing along to ‘The Wheels On The Bus’ for a happy car journey! No more shame at traffic lights when my son and I are rocking along and laughing at each other for taking the tunes a little too seriously! Nor do we mind when we make it to the shops and we still have the soundtrack playing – just without the music as we dance down the cereal aisle!
For us, a silent car journey just doesn’t cut it! We need tunes and laughter! There are some great pre-made soundtracks – or create your own – which is fun in itself!”
Simon | Operations Manager | 7 Year Old & Baby
Simon is one of the best Dads; you know the ones, the one we all wish we had had!
He is hands on, cool and always wants only the best for his little brood!
Empowering his little ones and making sure they enjoy being educated. That’s what matters so much to him; hence his journey tips being educational but FUN!
“My 7 year old loves nothing more than to be armed with her special clipboard and selection of pencils and rubbers and her fun car games. Games we can all play along with – if she lets us!”
Simon has let us in to his secrets and so we have created some templates so you too can let your little ones get bossy – we mean busy (!) – in the car!
Paul, like Simon, is one of those amazing Dads. Amazing, but also one who might be considered a little ‘Competitive’! Often sharing his stories with us in the staff room of Monopoly battles at Christmas and Nerf Gun fights on Sunday’s!
Proving that being a great Dad is all about having fun…with a little healthy competition!
So…little surprise to any of us; his survival tricks for car journey is a game of Guess Who!
“Having fun and play times are perhaps the greatest setting for making memories, learning social skills and integration but also having fun! With two children we all know that the back seat can be a frenzy of squabbling and ‘Dad he did this’ and ‘Dad she did that’s’!
So, I like to add a little fun for distraction, with a dollop of healthy, family competition to the mix things up a bit!! Guess Who is perfect!
It’s a great alternative to the ‘I Spy’ game – which has to be said, can be a bit distracting as the driver!
Guess Who! The player thinks of a person; it can be a famous fictional person, like Andy from Toy Story or Carl Fredricksen from UP! It can be a singer, like Ariana Grande or Bob Marley! Or perhaps an actor, sports person or even a member of the family!
The person who thinks of the ‘who’ then has to honestly answer up to 10 questions from the other players. With the answers they then have to try and ‘Guess Who’ that person is!
If the person is guessed, the passenger that guessed it gets one point, they then start another round. If the famous person is not guessed, the passenger can then think of another person … AND get the one point!
No cheating though!”
A BIG thanks to all our staff for taking the time to share their tried and tested trip survival tactics!
Long trips with children are always a little daunting – but they are worth it once you arrive in Plymouth. And hopefully our staff have given you some great tips to make it survivable!
All you need to do now is plan your next trip to Plymouth and thank us in person!!!
We would love to welcome you and share our city – as well as our tips – with you soon!
Safe Travels. Happy Journeys. Family Fun Holidays.