Monday, 19 September 2011

Locations Tour by Coach

I will be acting as guide on the following tour:

Tuesday 4th October 2011
Check out for details.

Giving you an insider’s view of the world’s most famous TV show.
Learn about its creator Tony Warren, how it made it on air, the inside
stories and secrets … and visit many of the locations of iconic scenes
out and about around Greater Manchester. See the spot where
Richard Hillman tried to kill the Platts, find out just where all the
Weatherfield weddings take place, see where the new Corrie studios
are being built, see where John Stape plunged from the hospital
roof – and much more in our fun day out!’

Includes coach travel and morning and afternoon tea at Daisy Nook Garden Centre, Oldham.
Departs 9.000am; home by approx 5.30pm

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

World of Coronation Street Tour - Last Day in Manchester

Wednesday 14 September

This morning the guests had another surprise when, during breakfast, Peter Barlow (Chris Gascoyne) called in to see them.   They then had time to  visit the city centre before, after lunch, Rob and I took them to the airport and their flight to Dublin. The next few days will be spent touring Ireland – but without us so that’s the end of this year’s report. Why don’t you join us next year? We always have a great time and the tour always varies so, apart from the studios and the classic Corrie locations, there’s always something different! Bookings are taken by If you are visiting Manchester and want a Corrie walking tour visiting some Corrie locations and also hearing some of the city’s history then visit where you’ll find information (note that this tour doesn’t enter the studios) or email us for more details - but please note that we are now largely fully booked for 2011.

World of Coronation Street Tour - Day Five

Tuesday 13 September

An early start but worth it. We travelled around Salford, the city next to Manchester, which inspired Tony Warren. We called at the Red Rec park, passed Bessie Street School, Weatherfield Comprehensive, Audrey’s house, the spot where Tony Gordon escaped from the ambulance, the houses featured in the opening credits and much more. Then we had some free time at Salford Quays, saw where Steve proposed to Karen, where Don tried to kill Alma, where Danny lived and much more. Next we visited the area where the new Corrie set is being built, where Ken was arrested and the community centre where the infamous Alcoholics Anonymous meeting was held.

Next stop was Granada Studios where we were given the VIP treatment and toured the Corrie set, all the indoor sets and we watched filming (can’t tell you what we saw though!). We also met, amongst others, Chesney, Kirk, Roy, Hayley and Katy.
The rest of the afternoon was free.

In the evening we met at the swish Midland Hotel for a dinner with the odd compettion prize thrown in! Each guest also got a lovely limited edition print of Coronation Street as a momento of their visit. However, the shocks and surprises weren’t over as Graeme Hawley (John Stape) also came to dinner with us and shared insider gossip! A really nice man .... and no one died!

World of Coronation Street Tour - Day Four

Monday 12 September

People coming to Manchester often assume we have a lovely Corrie shop where you can get souvenirs. Sadly, it’s not the case. So we work with internet shops who sell Corrie items to get hold of a range of products which we put on sale in the hotel. This morning the sale took place before we set off to Worsley. This is where Martha lured Ken onto her barge!

Today was less Corrie and more countryside so our next call was the lovely town of Clitheroe where we looked around the shops and some walked up to the Norman Castle. We also passed locations used in Born and Bred, Calendar Girls and Great Creatures Great and Small before arriving at Skipton, whre we enjoyed the quaint shops and cafes.
Next we drove over the picturesque moors and through Colne, where we paused to see the monument to Wallace Hartley, the bandleader on the Titanic. Then we had shopping time at the Boundary Mills store before a lovely fish and chip supper.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

World of Coronation Street Tour - Day Three

Sunday 11 September

This morning we drove to the city of Chester with its historic black and white Tudor-style buildings, interesting shops and beautiful cathedral. We had some free time to look around  - and we also saw the military parade marking the anniversary of 9/11, before boarding the coach for a drive through the Cheshire countryside. Next stop was Tatton Hall, a palatial stately home set in huge grounds. This was in fact the first outside filming location Corrie had back in 1962. It’s also where Graeme took Tina on his rickshaw, where Deirdre’s solicitor was based and where Annie’s Rover ended up in the lake. Most recently it’s where Roy and Hayley married. We had plenty of time to look around – and enjoy a bite of lunch.

Shelley's wedding dress
 Next stop was the church where Joe was buried, where Betty married Billy and where baby Jack Dobbs was christened. We got chance to look around and to see, on exhibition, Shelley's wedding dress! Then, continuing the wedding theme, we called at the location of Ken and Deirdre’s second wedding (a friendly policeman also posed for pictures with everyone!) before heading back to the hotel.

Tonight was a free evening.

World of Coronation Street Tour - Day Two

My latest report:

Saturday 10 September

We had a special breakfast treat when actor Jim Whelan, who plays Rev Mike Todd, Weatherfield’s main vicar, called in to say hello and to read from his autobiography. What a lovely man! Then we set off for a locations day. We started by visiting the outside of the Granada Studios so that I could tell the story of how Granada came into being, how Tony Warren got them to make Corrie and how the studios have developed. Throughout the day we will pass lots of Corrie filming locations – we started with the Weatherfield Hospital building (where someone fell recently in the UK - or were they pushed?), the hotel where Molly and Kevin spent a night of passion, the original outdoor Corrie street lot and so on. Then we took a walk through the canal district and learnt about Manchester’s history (there are Corrie locations here too – Roy Cropper almost drowned here for example). We also spotted Izzy across the street! 
Then Rob drove us through the city and out to the Corrie church. Here we explored the church, some got to climb the bell tower (remember granny Brenda holding Bethany from the top?), we visited Liam’s grave, the old folk’s home that Cilla worked in, and saw where Fred’s ashes were scattered. Thanks to the team at the church for making lots of special things happen!

Then we went to Ashton under Lyne where we had some free time to shop and eat before we saw Weatherfield Town Hall and then passed the church where Roy and Hayley almost married first time and the original Weatherfield Registry Office. Next stop was the dockside where Richard Hillman tried to kill the Platts and then we called at the location of Gail and Joe’s wedding (it was also where Vernon and Liz, Joe and Gail and Steve and Becky all wed  ... and if you don't mind spoilers read at the bottom and you'l find out who also tied the knot there in the UK episodes recently). Then it was back to the hotel for a break.

Introducing our special guest
We met up at the Briton’s Protection, one of the oldest pubs in Manchester, for a Corrie dinner. There was a surprise or two there – I took along some props I own such as the statue Tracy killed Charlie with and so on. And all our guests were amazed when Fiz (actress Jennie McAlpine) walked through the door. What a treat for everyone as she joined us for dinner.

SPOLIER FOR NON-UK VIEWERS:Others who've married there are Graeme and Xin and David and Kylie.

Friday, 9 September 2011

And we're off - the annual tour has begun!


An Exclusive experience brought to you each year by Kemptville Travel, Toronto
In association with Mark Llewellin, Manchester and

For all those who couldn’t join us on this year’s Corrie holiday then here’s my first diary entry.

Friday 9 September
I’m a little tired having spent yesterday at the celebrations for the maiden visit of Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth cruise ship to Liverpool. There was a special concert at the Anglican Cathedral (amazing – I’ve never been inside before!) featuring Lesley Garratt, the Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and the Band of the Welsh Guards. In the audience were the passengers plus VIPs including Liz Dawn, who I caught up with afterwards - and who looked great.   I was asked if I could stay on board but I had to be at Manchester Airport this morning to greet my Corrie guests.

So the plane landed at 11.30am and Rob, my wonderful coach driver, and I were there to meet them. I have 35 guests this year (from the UK, Canada, Ireland and New Zealand). We whisked them to their city centre hotel and left them to unpack and settle in.

For their escort Peter and I it was time to run through a few last minute arrangements before we start properly tomorrow.

At 6.30pm we all gathered together for a sherry before dinner. The first night is always informal and gives the guests a chance to meet together for the first time. Some come back year after year (we must be doing something right) and some are here for the first time and, I guess, aren’t quite sure what to expect. Many people have saved for this, dreamed of it, or have come for a special anniversary or birthday treat so we put a great deal of effort into making each trip extra special.

There was a Corrie episode on TV at 9pm so everyone rushed off to their rooms after dinner. There are some people who would walk over hot coals rather than find out some Corrie spoilers but with guests from across the globe, all at different points in the story, it’s impossible not to find out some upcoming secrets.

Check back for my next diary entry.