Archive for 2019
Why Choose Us for School Coach Hire
“We had a brilliant day out with 48 students to the Harry Potter Tour. School trips can be stressful but it went without a hitch! Will be using Kings Ferry again.” – Sarah Taylor
“We had 2 coaches driving our Year 5 class to Kew Gardens. They arrived promptly and we had a very good experience with this company.” – Hilly Bryde, Honeywell Primary School
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Corporate Hospitality at Sporting Events
Why hire a coach for festivals
Arranging festival transport for your customers?
Our experience in mass passenger transport
How to book festival coach hire
Why hire a coach for race days
The perfect race day transport
Attending a race day for a corporate event
How do you book private coach hire for race days?
We would like to say a huge congratulations to Steven Fielding on passing his PCV test. Steven was the first recruit for the newly launched Driver Training Academy and we are so proud to welcome him to The Kings Ferry family.
“I would like to congratulate Steven on passing his test and hope you continue to learn from our great driving team who have so much experience to pass on.”, says Simon Le Mar, Group Training and Development Manager.
“Steven was a pleasure to train. He took instructions well and took on board all the feedback he was given and implemented it straight away within his driving”, explains Lee Marriott, Steven’s Trainer.
The Academy’s First Pass
"I am very proud of the first pass we have received. The team have worked very hard from start to finish with getting the academy up and running, from Debbie Mann on the recruitment side to myself, Lee Miller and Lee Marriott getting systems in place for all the modules.
I would like to thank my team for their continuous hard work within training and the new academy.” , exclaims Simon.
Over the weekend we coached the Saracens Rugby Club to the Champion Cup Final where they were victorious! The Saracens took back the cup from last years’ Irish champions, Leinster Rugby, with a 20-10 win. In the past four seasons, the Saracens have won the Champion Cup an impressive three times.
Coaching The Saracens to Championship
We had the honour of transporting The Saracens, along with their families to Newcastle to win the Champion Cup against Leinster Rugby. As well as transporting the players and their families, we also provided transport for the club partners and VIP’s. All of whom enjoyed their journey on board Executive coaches.
Working alongside Thomas Cook Sport, who arranged the sports coach hire with us, we were able to provide transport to the game in Newcastle via our sub-brand Kings Ferry Connections.
How We Got Them There
Kings Ferry Connections have access to the UK’s largest network of operators. This gives us the unique ability to offer any vehicle, anytime, anywhere. Thanks to the relationships with our operators we were able to provide an extension of our service and quality to The Saracens. For more information on Kings Ferry Connections, visit the website www.coachhireconnections.co.uk.
We specialise in providing coach hire for sports teams and supporter travel. We’ve been doing so for the past 50 years and we’re the leading coach hire operator in the UK.
What’s Next For The Sarries
While The Saracens have won the Champion Cup Final and are the Champions of Europe, the season isn’t over yet. Earlier in the year they lost out on the Premiership Cup to Northampton Saints but still have the play-offs coming up. We wish them all the luck with their play-off game, fingers crossed!
If you’re looking for sports coach hire, whether that’s for a team of players or a group of supporters, we will make sure everyone is ready on and off the field. For coach hire contact our team on 01634 377 577 or get a quick quote below.
Kent is situated in South East England, bordering London, Surrey and East Sussex. Celebrated for its fruit-growing and hop gardens, Kent is more commonly known as The Garden of England. With breath-taking countryside and magnificent stretches of coastline, it is one of the most beautiful counties in the country. Local produce is a huge part of the Kentish culture, from Michelin Star restaurants to artisan food festivals and farmers markets, you’ll never go hungry in this county. Visiting Kent is perfect if you’re looking for a family-fun adventure, a romantic countryside getaway or a journey through England’s history.
We know Kent like the back of our hand, it’s where we’re from! Here are our top things to do in Kent this summer.
Leeds Castle is without a doubt one of the most beautiful venues in Kent and is coined “The Loveliest Castle in the World”. Nestled on an island surrounded by 500 acres of spectacular parkland and gardens, Leeds Castle is a must when visiting Kent. The castle is celebrating its 900th Anniversary this year and in recognition is holding various events throughout the year that the whole family can get involved in.
Come and explore this magnificent castle in Kent, there’s so much to do. Journey through the castle’s history at The Gatehouse Exhibition and wander through the rooms that once housed Henry VIII. To keep the little ones entertained, fuel their imagination at the Knights’ Stronghold Playground and the Squires’ Court Playground. Sit back and enjoy a relaxing punt along the moat as you float through the ancient arches, seeing parts of the Castle from a different perspective. Fuel your adventurous side with the Go Ape Tree Top Adventure which will see you speeding down zip lines, swinging like Tarzan and exploring life amongst the trees.
Howletts Wild Animal Park is located near Canterbury, it is Kent’s original wildlife park. The animal park is committed to the conservation, breeding and reintroduction of rare and endangered species. Working in partnership with the internationally renowned animal conservation charity, The Aspinall Foundation, Howletts Animal Park is home to over 400 animals across 50 species. Wherever possible, these animals are returned to the wild.
Set on 90 acres of land, Howletts is a great day out for all the family. They have Kent’s only giant anteaters as well as being home to the only herd of African elephants in Kent and the largest herd in the UK. Other animals residing at the park include; Rhinos, Tigers, Leopards, Gibbons, Grey Wolves, Lions, Monkeys, Cheetahs, Bison and many more. The park’s gorillas were described as “the finest in the world” by none other than animal legend, Steve Irwin. Visitors also have the opportunity to get up close when walking with lemurs, listening to the rangers talking about their animals and watching them get fed.
Photo by DAVID ILIFF. License: CC-BY-SA 3.0
Located in Greenhithe, just outside Dartford, Bluewater Shopping Centre is the biggest shopping centre in Kent and is one of the biggest in the UK. The centre opened in 1999 and sees a whopping 27 million visitors each year!
Bluewater is a hotspot for socialising, with over 330 stores including 60 cafes and restaurants. The centre sees stylish fashion brands such as Hollister, Karen Millen and Zara grace its floors. From Jo Malone and The White Company to House of Fraser and John Lewis, the vast array of stores at Bluewater is sure to provide you with a fix of retail therapy. Once you’ve shopped till you dropped, grab a bite to eat at one of the many dining venues, including wagamama, TGI Fridays, Zizzi and Nandos. Shoppers can also catch the latest Hollywood blockbuster at the centres’ 17-screen Showcase Cinema.
Canterbury Cathedral is the oldest cathedral and the most famous Christian structure in England. It is the cathedral of the Archbishop of Canterbury, leader of the Church of England and symbolic leader of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The cathedral dates back more than 1,400 years and forms part of a World Heritage Site. Each year this incredible working church sees more than one million visitors.
Canterbury Cathedral welcomes visitors from around the world to revel in its rich history. While the cathedral is a working church and place of faith, visitors need to be mindful that it does regularly close for services and special events. If you are able to visit the Cathedral on a day that it’s open, it truly is a magnificent sight and one to tick off your bucket list.
Known as “Kent’s Mainline in Miniature”, there’s nothing quite like a ride on the Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch Railway. This isn’t just any railway, this particular railway operates the most complete collection of one-third full-sized steam locomotives in the world. This world famous miniature railway is one of Kent’s top tourist attractions.
The Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch Railway begins its journey in the pretty town of Hythe. The track stretches 13 miles across the stunning coastline from Romney Marsh to Dungeness. The entire journey from Hythe to Dungeness takes just over an hour to complete but there are opportunities to get off and wander around the nearby towns. Each stop is a few minutes’ walk from the beach.
Diggerland is an adventure park in Rochester with a twist. It differs from your average adventure park because this park is all about diggers. From children’s birthday parties to corporate events, Diggerland is fun for everyone.
Experience the power behind a digger as you take control of these machines, race them against your friends and sit in the bucket of a 360 Excavator clinging onto dear life as you are spun around and around. Try your hand at knocking down skittles, hooking a duck and digging for treasure on the one tonne diggers. Tackle a mountain of dirt as you plough through it on the three and six tonne diggers. You’ll be on the edge of your seat as you’re lifted high up on Sky. Experience the thrill as you bounce around and get thrown side to side on Ground Shuttle. For the ultimate thrill seekers there’s the biggest ride in the park, the one that will not only make you scream but possibly vomit too, it’s Spin Dizzy. This exciting ride will have you sitting in the bucket of a 360 Excavator spinning around and around as you raise to three different heights.
Port Lympne Hotel & Reserve is located near Hythe, with stunning views over Romney Marsh. This animal park is the sister to Howletts Animal Park and also works in conjunction with the internationally renowned animal conservation charity, The Aspinall Foundation. As part of this charity, the animal reserve is committed to the conservation, breeding and reintroduction of rare and endangered species into the wild.
The park is set over an impressive 600 acres, with over 760 rare and endangered animals, across 90 species living here. Port Lympne is home to the UK’s most authentic safari experience, The African Experience, spanning 100 acres of free reining African animals. The park has the largest herd of Black Rhino in the UK as well as the only Giraffes in Kent. Other animals residing at the park include; Gorillas, Tigers, Lions, Leopards, Bears, Bison, Gibbons, Zebra, Wallaby and many more. If at the end of the day you haven’t had a chance to see everything you wanted, you can enjoy a luxury stay at the park. Choose from a luxury lodge waking up to Lions, Tigers, Wolves and Rhinos, sleep under the stars in The Bubble which gives a 180 degree view of the park, or stay in one of the boutique hotels onsite. Guests staying onsite will experience luxuries such as a personal golf buggy to get around, a private ranger guided safari and personal chef, depending on the category of room you book.
The Chapel Down Winery is located in the beautiful countryside near Tenterden. This award-winning winery is set amongst 22 acres of gorgeous vineyards, which is recognised as an “Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty”. The winery is the leading producer of English sparkling wines, still wines and beers.
Visitors can take a guided tour of the vineyards to learn about how Chapel Down grow their vines and make the wine. A vineyard tour wouldn’t be complete without the chance to taste the award-winning range of wines produced onsite. The winery also features a two AA Rosette and Michelin Bib Gourmand restaurant which uses locally sourced fresh produce to create tantalising dishes. If you can’t get enough of the wine you’ve sampled, the Winery Store is open to purchase wines, beers and ciders, along with high quality English produce sourced from the finest local suppliers.
With plenty of things to do in Kent, you’re spoiled for choice but either way there is something for everyone in our beloved county. If you’re travelling from further afield or planning to visit any of these places as a group, trust in us to provide you with the perfect coach hire. No one knows the Kent roads like a Kings Ferry coach driver!
The RHS Chelsea Flower Show is a spectacular annual event which brings together the world’s best landscapers, florists and nurseries. Held in the ground of the Royal Hospital Chelsea, this event attracts more than 150,000 visitors including members of the Royal Family. The Chelsea Flower Show is renowned for being the world’s most famous flower show and this year it’s taking place on the 21-25th May.
Things to Do
One of the main highlights of the show is the world-class garden designs that are on display. Budding gardeners can find inspiration amongst the cutting-edge designs and discover new trends to try in their own gardens. Some of the most imaginative displays are created by world-class designers who push the boundaries in order to win the coveted Best Show Garden Award. Alongside these big names and showing off their green fingers is the Duchess of Cambridge who has co-designed one of the incredible displays!
Photo: Karen Roe, Creative Commons 2.0
While the show gardens are the main highlight, there are plenty of other things to do at the Chelsea Flower Show. Chelsea’s Great Pavilion is bursting with award-winning nurseries and growers from all over the world. You’ll be able to fall in love with a new bloom and purchase rare and exciting flowers and plants to put in your own garden. The experts will also be on hand to give you their top gardening tips.
Even though this is the most prestigious flower show in the world, it’s not all about flowers and plants. You have the unmissable opportunity to discover delicious artisan dishes designed exclusively by acclaimed chef, Raymond Blanc. Enjoy fantastic food, exciting cocktails and beautiful gardens at Jardin Blanc, a dining experience like no other! Tickets for the dining experience are sold separately but do include ticket entry to the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.
Get Your Tickets
Tickets to the show have limited availability and some dates and times have already sold out. So to be sure that your name is on the guest list, you can purchase your tickets here.
Getting To the Show
Parking in Chelsea can be a nightmare and getting the train to an event that has over 150,000 visitors is equally just as bad. Whether you are a small group of budding gardeners or a society of horticultural specialists, coach hire is the way to travel. From 16 seater minibuses to 77 seater double-decker coaches, from standard comfort to luxury VIP, we’ve got the ability to provide any vehicle, at anytime, anywhere in the UK.
Not only that, but in-keeping with the ‘green’ theme, did you know that coach hire is one of the greenest forms of ground transport! They produce half of the CO2 emitted by rail, quarter of a car and 1/6 of air travel.
We’ve expanded our VIP fleet with the addition of our new Mercedes-Benz Tourismo 35-seater coach, setting new standards in luxury group travel. Although the model is a popular choice this vehicle is the only one to have been converted to incorporate a private lounge. The VIP coach didn’t stay in the yard for long, as it’s already on the road!
This VIP coach is the very latest from Mercedes-Benz and features the finest fittings, modern amenities and an elegant design. What really sets this vehicle apart is the development of the fully secluded private lounge. This rear, curved seating area seats up to 7 people and can be converted into a secluded room, providing complete privacy like never before. The rear lounge features its own climate control and lighting display, it also has the ability to be sealed off from the rest of the coach with an opaque sliding door. Having complete privacy enables confidential meetings to take place whilst travelling.
We have been at the forefront of VIP and luxury travel for many years and we’re proud to have provided VIP transport for famous faces such as John Travolta, Sylvester Stallone and Billy Ocean. The addition of the new Tourismo will further enhance the Group’s VIP offering and provide greater choice for corporate and state clients, celebrities and professional sports teams.
Mick Keohane, Engineering Director for The Kings Ferry Group, was responsible for selecting the new vehicle and explains the rationale: “Mercedes-Benz is a well-known, high-quality brand which perfectly aligns with customer expectations of travelling with The Kings Ferry. We are always seeking to provide our customers with the best in innovation and worked closely with the team at Mercedes-Benz to develop the private rear sitting area which is unique in its class. With this new VIP coach, we are delighted to offer our customers the highest possible levels of on-board privacy and customised luxury.”
“Overall the new coach represents excellent value and with Mercedes-Benz’ exceptional support systems across the UK and Europe, The Kings Ferry’s customers can rest assured they are in the safest hands with every journey,” concluded Mick Keohane.
All our VIP customers receive the highest levels of customer service and travel management solutions. With the addition of the new Mercedes-Benz Tourismo, we continue to set the standard in luxury group travel.
The Kings Ferry Group are exhibiting for the first time at the Venues & Events Expo this year. The expo is being held at the Kent Event Centre in Detling, Kent on the 9th May 2019.
We’ll be showcasing our ground transport solutions to event professionals, venue finders, PA’s, VA’s and business owners. Whether you’ve got 10 guests or 1,000 guests, we’ve got the perfect coach hire solution for you. With an impressive fleet of over 220 vehicles and access to the UK’s leading and largest operator network, we can provide options from luxurious VIP vehicles and 77-seater Executive coaches to minibuses and chauffeur-driven cars. Using the strength of the Group we have the unique ability to provide any vehicle, at anytime, anywhere across the UK!
We are excited to have teamed up with the Venues & Events Expo to provide transfers from Maidstone East train station to the venue. So if you want to arrive in style, leave your cars behind and get a taste of pure sophistication on-board our VIP coach. To book your seats, head over to https://www.venueseventsexpo.co.uk/travelling-to-the-show.
Travel in luxury, arrive in style
Our VIP coaches are the most popular choice of vehicle for any type of event. Their luxurious features include; a star-lit rear lounge which is perfect for entertaining and pre party conversations and on-board kitchen facilities which offer the ideal opportunity to pop open the bubbly – both create the perfect combination for your event. Our Executive coaches are a superb alternative if you are simply looking to get from A to B hassle-free. With state of the art with luxury leather seating and ample legroom, your guests are sure to arrive refreshed and ready to enjoy the event. No matter what vehicle you choose, our coaches will have you travelling in luxury and arriving in style.
The Venues & Events Expo is the perfect exhibition for visitors to meet with amazing venues and great event suppliers to get inspiration. This one-day event features a jam-packed seminar programme with keynote speakers on Event Tech, Marketing Your Event, Social Media and more. From cocktail masterclasses to canapé tasting, there are plenty of workshops available for you to interact with the suppliers and get a first-hand experience on what’s they offer.
For your free ticket and to register for the interactive workshops, please visit https://www.butterfliesevents.co.uk/vexpo-registration.
Don’t forget, if you are planning an event and need hassle-free, high quality travel, then come and see us at the show! We’ll take the stress out of arranging your event transport.
The weather is warming up and the sun is shining, this can only mean one thing - that barbecue season is almost amongst us.
Barbecues are the social event of the summer, perfect for entertaining your family and friends over some homemade grilled food. We all know that cooking for a group of different palettes can be difficult. That’s why we’ve found the best BBQ dishes that will suit everyone’s tastes…
The Ultimate Beef Burgers
Photo: Delicious Magazine
You can’t go wrong with a classic beef burger. This recipe is quick and easy to follow. You can even get the kids involved in making these delicious patties. These ultimate beef burgers are perfect for eating on the day or they can be frozen should the weather take a turn.
Halloumi Salad with Orange and Mint
Photo: BBC Good Food
Halloumi has won the heart of the nation with its meaty taste and rubbery texture. It’s also the perfect pairing for a barbecue because it can be grilled – thanks to its high melting point. This recipe is a vegetarian favourite and gives an extra zing to your regular Halloumi salad.
Barbecued Trout in Newspaper
Photo: Jamie Oliver
Who knew barbecued trout wrapped in newspaper would taste as delicious as this does! This dairy-free, gluten-free dish has proved a hit with seafood lovers up and down the nation. Its succulent barbecued flavour makes it a go-to whenever you’ve got family and friends over.
Mexican Black Bean Burgers with Lime & Coriander
Photo: Jamie Oliver
These Mexican Black Bean Burgers are packed full of flavour, enough to get your taste buds tingling. They are the perfect addition to a barbecue and will suit the whole family as they’re Vegetarian and Vegan friendly!
Herby Lamb Kebabs
Photo: Jamie Oliver
Kebabs are always a barbecue favourite, you can create them to your own liking with all your favourite ingredients. We’ve found a recipe that will get your guests drooling plus they’re super easy to make. Once you’ve got all the ingredients prepared, you can ask the kids to help assemble them to make for the perfect barbecue.
Hatch Pineapple Salsa
Photo: Brian Woodcock
This delicious Hatch Pineapple Salsa is quick and easy to make in only 10 minutes. It’s fresh and fiery flavour is the perfect addition to any barbecued dish.
If you’ve got any family-favourite dishes that are perfect for BBQ season, share them with us on our Facebook page!
OUIBUS is an international coach service that connects the major cities across Europe. A subsidiary of the French railway, SNCF, OUIBUS’s first hub was founded at Paris-Bercy. Their routes include the popular lines London-Paris, London-Lille and London-Paris Charles De Gaulle Airport. The London to Paris daily route operates 11 times a day, 4 day-time journeys and 7 night-time journeys.
Previously, our parent company National Express UK held the contract for OUIBUS. The service was operated by The Kings Ferry but since National Express UK ceased all European operations, this led to the contract being ceased too.
Chris Burley, Group Operations Director for The Kings Ferry Group, has been working hard to contact OUIBUS direct and has successfully secured 2 weekend night services (culminating in 8 vehicle movements) across Fridays to Mondays, for The Kings Ferry’s London to Paris route.
From July 2019 through to September 2019, these will move from weekend to daily services.
This is a new venture for The Kings Ferry, as National Express controlled the operation beforehand. The Kings Ferry’s Operations team are now working directly with OUIBUS Base Care and we are hoping this will be the start of a successful and prosperous partnership where we will continue to supply a professional service with the aim of securing more routes in the future.
With tickets from £16.99 per person each way from London to Paris, travelling by coach is a cheaper alternative to flying.
Travelling with The Kings Ferry makes for a luxurious and comfortable journey. The vehicles used for the contract are our Mercedes-Benz Executive coaches wrapped in OUIBUS livery. Each of our coaches feature reclining seats, hot drinks facilities, reading lights, air conditioning, curtains, DVD player and screen, as well as a WC facility.
For more information on OUIBUS and details on how to book your ticket on one of our coaches to Paris, visit https://www.ouibus.com/routes/london-paris.
The Kings Ferry Group Fleet at South East Bus Festival, Credit: Izaak Mann
The South East Bus Festival was a momentous occasion for the entire Group. It was the first time in which all four businesses from the Group had their fleet side-by-side, as well as being the first time most of the staff had met each other.
“It was an absolutely brilliant day and was nice to showcase such an amazing fleet. It was great to meet people with such knowledge of The Kings Ferry Group, we all took the time to talk to each other and realise our future and growth together.”, says Jaimie Florea, Coach Driver at The Kings Ferry.
The show saw 154 buses and coaches exhibit, breaking their previous record from last year. We took 9 coaches and 1 bus from the Group’s fleet, the most amount of coaches brought by any one exhibitor to the show!
We brought coaches from each of our Group companies; The Kings Ferry, Clarkes of London, Stewarts Coaches, Woods Coaches and even one from our parent company, National Express – a right family day out!
A last minute change was made to our fleet the day before the festival. We was originally planning on taking the OUIBUS livery but had a new VIP delivery that we couldn’t wait to show off.
We brought 4 coaches to the event from our Head Office in Gillingham; a 2006 Scania Irizar with Driver Training Academy livery, 2019 Van Hool Altano Norwich City FC Team Coach, 2019 Yutong TC9 and 2019 Mercedes-Benz Tourismo.
2019 Yutong TC9, Credit: Brian East
2019 Van Hool Altano Norwich City FC Team Coach, Credit: Izaak Mann
2019 Mercedes-Benz Tourismo, Credit: William Harris
2006 Scania Irizar Driver Training Academy livery, Credit: Brian East
We was joined by our parent company, National Express, who brought down their 2015 Scania Caetano.
2015 Scania Caetano, Credit: Brian East
Clarkes of London joined us for another year at the South East Bus Festival with their two coaches; 2018 Irizar i8 Crawley Town FC Team Coach and 2018 Yutong TC9 VIP livery.
2018 Irizar i8 Crawley Town FC Team Coach, Credit: Brian East
2018 Yutong TC9 VIP, Credit: Brian East
Stewarts Coaches travelled down from Reading to join us for the first time at the show with their two vehicles; 2015 Irizar i6 and 2019 Mercedes-Benz Citaro in its Slough Bath Road Central contract livery.
2019 Mercedes-Benz Citaro Slough Bath Road Central contract livery, Credit: Brian East
2015 Irizar i6, Credit: Brian East
One of our newest acquisitions, Woods Coaches was welcomed with open arms to the event. They brought from Leicester their 2017 Irizar i6.
2017 Irizar i6, Credit: Brian East
“It was a superb day, despite the weather, and an impressive sight to see all our group lined up together. It reinforces that we are truly a people business, and our people show such pride and passion for what we do.
The presentation of the vehicles was impeccable, and were a credit to our businesses.”, exclaims Chris Burley, Group Operations Director.
Driver Training Academy
2006 Scania Irizar Driver Training Academy livery, Credit: Izaak Mann
2006 Scania Irizar Driver Training Academy livery, Credit: Brian East
We’re proud to announce that the unveiling of our Driver Training Academy was a huge success. We had people registering their interest on the day and have been receiving many phone calls with those expressing their interest in a new career.
The training coach is one of our ex-VIP coaches, a Scania Irizar i6 that has been modified. The inside is laid out as a mobile classroom with full kitchen and toilet facilities.
The Driver Training Academy is for those looking to gain their PCV licence, CPC training or refresher training. We cover all costs of the training, while recruits are rewarded with a full time job with The Kings Ferry Group at the end of it. For more information on the Driver Training Academy, visit our dedicated page here.
A Huge Thanks
On behalf of The Kings Ferry Group we would like to say a huge thanks to the following people, of whom we would not have been able to do this without…
The Kings Ferry; Simon Le Mar, Lee Miller, Leigh Marriott, Steve Pennell, Debbie Mann, Lewis Byrne, Jaimie Florea and Izaak Mann.
Kings Ferry Dover; Chris Salisbury
Clarkes of London; Gavin Ross and Ricky Fletcher
Woods Coaches; Mark Kent
Stewarts Coaches; Michael Gurr and Jonathon Furlong
Thanks also to the Marketing Team for arranging the new signage, display frames and the giveaways.
We would also like to give a special mention to Dave Mann, Senior Traffic Manager at Clarkes of London, for organising and coordinating the event. You have done a fantastic job yet again, we can’t wait to see what’s to come for next years’ South East Bus Festival.
In March, The Kings Ferry and Demelza Hospice Care for Children celebrated 22 years of partnership. We first began supporting Demelza in 1996 and helped raise funds to build the main site in Sittingbourne which opened its doors in 1998. Since then, we’ve raised £15,000 to support the vital work Demelza do and donated free coach travel for family and staff events.
“Demelza Hospice Care for Children provides specialist care and emotional support for children with terminal conditions and their loved ones, so that they can enjoy their time together as a family, for as long as they have. As a charity, we are dependent on the generosity of our supporters to keep our services going. We are grateful to the many local businesses and individuals who support us, but our long-standing relationship with The Kings Ferry means a lot to us as it is rare to have worked with one company for more than two decades,” said Tamsyn Clark, Director of Fundraising at Demelza.
Speaking about the partnership, Head of Marketing at The Kings Ferry Group, Sam Adams, said: “The team at Demelza do an amazing job helping terminally ill children enjoy the best possible quality of life and it is a pleasure to support them in this work. We are proud to have provided coach hire for them and raised £15,000 over the past 22 years and this is thanks to all the team at The Kings Ferry – from our drivers and customer service managers to engineers and technicians – everyone has put their hands in their pockets at different times and together, we are helping Demelza to make a big difference for children and their families.”
In the past 22 years of supporting Demelza, we’ve raised money through a variety of ways including; raffles, bake sales, staff competitions, sponsorship challenges, dress down days, and coffee mornings. Recently, Garry Warren from our East Kent depot had been training for the Paris Marathon which he ran on the 14th April to raise money for the charity. We are also proud to sponsor Demelza’s Easter Egg Hunt on the 19th April for the first time.
Over the years the money raised has gone into development and maintenance of the hospice in Sittingbourne which was most recently rated as ‘Outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission.
“We are deeply thankful to The Kings Ferry for their long-term commitment to our work, and we look forward to more years of partnership in the future,” concluded Tamsyn.
As every UK school prepares to enjoy a relaxing two week Easter break, parents have the pleasure of having their little ones back with them all day long. This can be both good and bad; obviously it’s great to be able to spend such valuable time with your children, but sometimes it can be a huge struggle to know just what to do to keep them entertained! Easter is such a fun time of year for children: with chocolate galore and loads of spare time to play with their friends - team that with all the newborn animals that will be making appearances and you've got yourself the makings of some fantastic Easter days out.
To help you find out what's going on in Medway and its surrounding areas, we've compiled a list of the top 5 Easter Eggs Hunts that will help keep the kids entertained.
Demelza Easter Egg Hunt
Demelza Hospice Care for Children are holding their annual Easter Egg Hunt on Friday 19th April at their site in Sittingbourne. Children will be able to go on an epic adventure to help Cotton Tail find his friends and receive the ultimate prize for completing the Easter Egg Hunt. Don't miss out on this fantastic family fun event that we are extremely proud to be sponsoring.
Spring into Easter
From Friday 19th April to Monday 22nd April, Kent Life will be holding their Spring into Easter Weekend at the Kent Showground. This fun-filled Easter Weekend will see children join the Easter Bunny for a special Easter egg hunt, make their own Easter bonnets and enjoy the unmissable Easter parade. Celebrating the start of Spring, children will also have the chance to meet baby farm animals, hop on a farm ride, enjoy the indoor and outdoor play areas and so much more!
Easter Fun at the Farm
The Hop Farm is renowned for its family-fun days out, so it's no surprise that its Easter event makes our top 5 go-to Easter activities. Kids can enjoy egg-citing Easter games as well as enjoy the indoor soft play, crazy golf and get up close to the little lambs, bunnies and chicks! With so much to do at the Hop Farm it really is a jam-packed family day out, perfect for fun over the Easter half term.
Dobbies Easter Bunny Breakfast
We all know how delicious a Dobbies breakfast is, so why not bring your kids along to your local Dobbies Garden Centre on Friday 19th April to Monday 22nd April for a delicious cooked breakfast and some Easter fun. After breakfast your little ones will hop off to enjoy some fun Easter crafts before meeting the famous Easter Bunny. There is also an incredible fancy dress competition, so to be in with a chance of winning, make sure your little ones wear the most eggcellent outfits!
Easter Fun with the Junk Orchestra
Join in the Easter fun at Leeds Castle on Friday 19th April to Monday 22nd April and see your children get creative at the Castle’s ‘mad hat’ making workshop. Throughout the event, The Junk Orchestra will be jamming with their instruments made from bits of old rubbish. They’ll also show your little ones how to make their own junk instrument, which they can take home to entertain you all through the evening. Finally, an Easter day out wouldn’t be complete without embarking on an Easter Trail through the glorious Leeds Castle grounds in search of a delicious chocolate reward!
If you’re planning an Easter day out for the whole family, why not hire a minibus or coach to take you there. You’ll be able to sit back and relax knowing everyone is on-board, having fun and raring to get their teeth into some delicious Easter treats.
Calling All Bus & Coach Enthusiasts!
The South East Bus Festival is one of the major highlights of the annual Heritage Transport Show. This fantastic and unmissable show will be taking place on Saturday 6th April at the Kent Showground, Detling. We will be exhibiting at the event for the 3rd consecutive year, showcasing a range of vehicles from across The Group. This year we have a huge surprise in store (but we are not giving away any clues until you read on!) – this is something that we are exclusively revealing at the show. So make sure you drop by to see us!
The Heritage Transport Show
The Heritage Transport Show attracts transport enthusiasts from all over the country. It's a celebration for heritage and vintage vehicles, from motorbikes to tractors and everything in between. This year the show is on track to hit a new record of 800 vehicles and 100 buses, making it one of the biggest heritage and vintage vehicle events in the South East.
The South East Bus Festival
The South East Bus Festival has been working in partnership with the Heritage Transport Show for the past 9 years. The Festival will showcase a collection of buses and coaches both vintage and modern. Visitors will be able to walk through 90 years of bus and coach history, with the oldest bus displayed having been built in 1929 right through to the brand new state of the art coaches - by The Kings Ferry Group, of course!
The Festival is filled with entertainment for all ages, from guest speakers and trade stands to free vintage bus rides around the showground, there really is something for everyone. The Show will also be hosting a Farmers Market with an incredible array of stands selling a range of delicious, locally produced food and drink.
By now you have probably already guessed that we will be exhibiting at the Festival, it's one that we can't miss. We've been exhibiting at this incredible show for years and we love showcasing our modern fleet to all coach and bus enthusiasts! This year we're bigger and better, in 2018 we took 4 vehicles to the show , this year we're taking 10!
We'll be taking our brand new 2019 Mercedes-Benz Tourismo VIP coach, a 2017 Irizar VIP coach, an executive Irizar coach with our iconic Kings Ferry livery, a 2006 Irizar coach with our Ouibus livery and a 2015 Caetano National Express livery coach. Clarkes of London will be bringing their 2018 Yutong with the Crawley Town FC livery and a 2018 Yutong with Clarkes' iconic livery. The most recent additions to the Group, Stewarts Coaches and Woods Coaches will also be making an appearance. Stewarts Coaches are bringing their 2015 Irizar with their classic Stewarts livery along with their brand new 2019 Mercedes-Benz Citaro bus and Woods Coaches are showcasing their 2017 Irizar single-deck coach.
The South East Bus Festival will be a first for The Kings Ferry Group, it'll be the first family outing, with all four businesses coming together to showcase their fleet side by side. What a truly proud and unforgettable moment it will be.
What's The Big Reveal?
While we can't tell you exactly what it is, otherwise that would ruin the surprise, we can give you a few hints.
This surprise coincides with a recent event we held. It will provide a lot of opportunity to those who have an interest in coaches. We are one of the first coach operators in the South East to offer something like this.
What could it be?
You'll have to come along on Saturday 6th April to The Heritage Transport Show, Kent Showground to find out!
Tickets for The Heritage Transport Show are £7 when bought in advance or £10 if bought on the gate. Children under 14 are free of charge. Visitor parking is free and there will be a variety of catering stands to choose from for food and drink.
For more information on The Heritage Transport Show and for details on purchasing tickets, visit the website here: http://kentshowground.co.uk/heritage-transport-show/
Don't Miss Out On Booking Your Party Transport!
We know it may seem a little early to start thinking about Christmas but when it comes to arranging your work Christmas Party you need to be ahead of the game before all the best suppliers sell out!
With plenty of festive inspiration out there, we’ll take the stress out of arranging the transport while you focus on the venue, catering and entertainment.
Coach hire is the perfect mode of transport for corporate events. It ensures all your guests get to the venue safe, on time and most importantly altogether. The party shouldn’t start and end at the event, but on the journey to and from the event!
How We Can Help
With over 50 years’ experience providing coach hire for individuals and companies, we have the knowledge to ensure your work party goes off without a hitch.
Complete Transport Solutions
We’re here to help streamline your ground transport bookings. From coaches and minibuses to chauffeur-driven cars, we’ve got everything you need to make booking party transport easy. You’ll be assigned a dedicated account manager who will be your day-to-day contact. They’ll book all your transport, handle any tolls along your journey and also support you should you have any escalated queries whilst on the road. We provide a fully managed service so you can sit back and relax knowing your company travel is safe in the hands of The Kings Ferry.
In addition to your dedicated account manager who will be available on a daily basis, we also provide 24/7 support. We have an around the clock operations team tracking and liaising with the drivers on the road and a reservations team who book any coach hire enquiries that come in outside normal office hours. So, if you have an emergency or need a coach last minute, there’s always someone here to assist.
As part of The Kings Ferry Group, we have over 220 vehicles in our fleet as well as access to the UK’s largest operator network. Being part of National Express, there really isn’t a corner of the country that we can’t provide transport for. If you’ve got multiple offices up and down the UK and you want to hold a huge Christmas party in London, you can trust in us to get everyone to the party on time and raring to go!
We provide coach hire for companies all over the UK and Europe, no matter the scale. From 16-seater minibuses to 77-seater double-decker executive coaches, our luxury vehicles are the perfect transport solution for your festive celebrations.
VIP Coach Hire
For the ultimate ‘wow’ factor experience, our VIP coaches are the pinnacle of excellence. They’ll have your colleagues talking from the get go. With luxurious leather seats and ample legroom, each of our VIP coaches have been handpicked to guarantee a five-star journey from start to end. Choose from either a rear full kitchen or a rear star-lit lounge to keep your guests entertained. We can also provide food platters, canapés, bubbly and a hostess/steward to really get the party started. To take a virtual tour of our VIP coaches, click here.
Executive Coach Hire
Our Executive coaches exude sophistication and elegance. With leather reclining seats, plenty of legroom and tinted windows, your colleagues will arrive feeling relaxed and ready to party. Each of the coaches come with drinks facilities, refrigerator and toilet. Our Executive coaches are a fantastic alternative to our VIP coaches without compromising the luxury or excellent service. To take a virtual tour of our executive coaches, click here.
Even though The Kings Ferry is renowned for luxury coach hire, we also have an abundance of other vehicles to suit your needs. From vintage buses and 16-seater minibuses to our VIP car fleet, we have a range of vehicles and models to choose from. Each comes with your own executive chauffeur, so your VIP experience will last as long as you want it to.
Using the strength of The Kings Ferry Group, we have the ability to provide any vehicle, at anytime, anywhere in the UK. We can also take you into Europe, so if you’re planning a work do in the Alps, we can deliver!
We’ve worked with a plethora of companies to provide them with ground transport services for events big and small. We’ve transported David Cameron on his Conservative ‘Battle Bus’ for his election back in 2015, where we did a full wrap on the coach. In contrast, Glastonbury has thousands of festival goers across the UK that we provide transport for, we arrange on average 800 coaches for the festival each year.
One of our most recent hires was for the CWT Meeting & Events Conference. We put on 5 VIP coaches to take the staff to their annual Conference at the end of February.
“I wanted to say a huge thank you to you and Kings Ferry for letting us all experience your VIP Coaches. We were all really blown away by how slick you guys operate and also how luxury a coach can be, the driver was also very professional and I would have no hesitation in telling our clients about our experience.
Thank you so much, it really does make a difference for the team to experience the quality and service themselves.” says Emma Chamberlain, Global Supplier Manager.
Your colleagues will travel in luxury and arrive in style when booking through The Kings Ferry. We guarantee a five-star service from the moment you enquire with us to the last passenger drop off.
If you’re around on the 14-15 May 2019, why not come along and gather inspiration at the London Christmas Party Show, tickets are free at https://www.londonchristmaspartyshow.com/. We’ll be there ready to chat and answer your questions.
The UK is always discovering new artists that are ready to take over the world and become international superstars. We’ve seen the likes of The Beatles, Elton John, Queen, Coldplay, Adele, David Bowie, Spice Girls, Robbie Williams are so many more come from our beloved country. So it’s no wonder we have some of the world’s biggest and best festivals!
Radio1’s Big Weekend
Radio1’s Big Weekend is the biggest free ticketed event in Europe. The festival is held in a different city each year. This year it’s located in Stewart Park, Middlesbrough on the 25th and 26th May 2019. With a strong headliner such as The King of Grime himself, Stormzy, festival goers are in for one big party. Pop sensation Miley Cyrus will also be appearing, along with Little Mix, Ellie Goulding and Jess Glynne. Bringing an indie edge to the festival are The 1975, Two Door Cinema Club and Bring Me The Horizon. For dance vibes Sigala and Jax Jones will be performing their latest summer anthems. With newcomers Mabel and Khalid also performing.
Glastonbury Festival is the largest greenfield festival in the world. It attracts some of the biggest names in the music industry and is attended to by over 175,000 people. This five-day festival will be taking place from the 26th to 30th June 2019, at Worthy Farm in Somerset. Its infamous Pyramid Stage sees the biggest headliners, with 2019’s line-up including The Killers, The Cure, Stormzy, Kylie Minogue and Janet Jackson. Other artists that will be performing at the festival include Miley Cyrus, George Ezra, The Chemical Brothers, Vampire Weekend, Two Door Cinema Club, Bastille, Sigrid, Anne-Marie, Liam Gallagher and many more.
Isle of Wight Festival
Isle of Wight Festival is the UK’s longest-running music festival and is one of the most popular in Europe. It’s held in Newport every year, this year taking place on the 13th to 16th June 2019. In the past the festival has been headlined by the likes of David Bowie, Queen, The Who, The Prodigy, Snow Patrol, Kasabian and The Rolling Stones. This year’s headliners will see Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds return for another year, along with George Ezra, Biffy Clyro and special guest Fat Boy Slim. The festival will also enjoy performances from Lily Allen, Jess Glynne, Madness, Bastille, Freya Ridings, Tom Walker, Jax Jones and more.
How To Get There
Heading to one of these festivals in the summer? Why not hire a coach to get you all there, whether you are arranging transport for a group of mates or the whole festival, we’ve got the perfect transport for you.
Coaches are often perceived as being old and rusty, but not ours. Our coaches are luxurious and trendy, some even have star-lit lounges and full kitchens!
However, the most important aspect of hiring a coach is to make sure you all get to the festival safe and together. The leather seats, huge amount of legroom and on-board drink facilities are just added extras that we include to get the party started from the moment you step on-board. And if after a weekend of partying you haven’t slept a wink – our reclining seats will help you nod off and catch up.
Get your party started the moment you step on-board.
Our first time exhibiting!
The Kings Ferry Group are exhibiting for the first time at the London Christmas Party Show. The show takes place on 13-14 May 2019 at Plaisterers’ Hall in London.
We’ll be showcasing our ground transport solutions for Christmas Parties, whether you’ve got 10 guests or 1,000 guests, we’ve got the perfect coach hire for you. With a fleet of over 220 vehicles and access to the UK’s largest operator network, we can provide options from luxury VIP coaches and 77-seater Executive coaches to minibuses and chauffeur-driven cars. Using the strength of the Group enables us to provide any vehicle, at anytime, anywhere across the UK.
Our VIP coaches are the most popular choice of vehicle as they feature a star lit rear lounge and on-board kitchen facilities, the perfect combination for helping get the party started! While our Executive coaches are state of the art with luxury leather seating and ample legroom. Our coaches are the pinnacle of excellence, they will have you travelling in luxury and arriving in style.
The London Christmas Party Show is the perfect exhibition for event organisers and corporate buyers to meet suppliers and gather ideas for your festive celebrations. Split over two days, consisting of an exclusive evening for Event Organisers and a full day for Corporate Event Buyers. The show is jam packed with inspiration for your next work do!
With 150 event venues and party experts exhibiting, you are bound to find the perfect solution for your next event; whether that’s the ideal venue, theme or transport. There might be some fantastic discounts on offer too!
The show features a packed seminar programme giving all the top tips to make sure your Christmas Party goes off with a bang!
For your free ticket and to register for some informative seminars, please visit https://www.londonchristmaspartyshow.com/. Don’t forget to come and see us on Stand E6, we’ll take the stress out of arranging your Christmas Party transport.
Ground Transport Solutions with Kings Ferry Connections
KF Connections, part of The Kings Ferry Group, specialise in complete ground transport management for businesses, no matter the scale. Whether you are running a series of large scale events or require regular transport for your clients; no matter your requirement, KF Connections is the one stop solution for all your business transport needs.
What Kings Ferry Connections Offer
Streamlined Ground Transport
KF Connections have access to the UK’s leading and largest network of fully audited operators. Meaning, we have the unique ability to offer any vehicle, at anytime, anywhere across the UK. It’s not just coaches on offer, our complete ground transport management includes coaches, minibuses, taxis and chauffeur driven cars.
Proving transport for businesses is our speciality. Working with clients such as See Tickets and Glastonbury Festival, we have had the incredible opportunity to transport 1000’s of people to festivals across the UK. Alongside this, we have provided transport for a number of UEFA Champions League Final events, as well as having transported David Cameron around on a custom wrapped ‘Conservative Battle Coach’.
We regularly work with football teams to transport players and supporters to and from games. And we have even drove David Cameron around on a custom-wrapped Conservative battle coach.
Our exclusive, innovative booking platform allows staff to request quotes, make bookings and check existing booking details. With integration into your company’s intranet, either approved staff or your whole company can book ground transport in-house. You can set spend levels and restrict access to the booking platform to manage it efficiently.
Our dedicated account managers are here to ensure your transport needs are met with ease and efficiency. They will be on hand throughout your KF Connections experience, from initial enquiry through to the final debrief. We also have a 24/7 service line offering around the clock support. So even if your account manager is out of the office, an industry expert will still be on hand to give you the help and guidance you require.
What They Say About KF Connections
Working with a multitude of clients has allowed us to perfect our processes since KF Connections was founded 19 years ago. Here are a couple of our favourite testimonials;
“The Kings Ferry Limited have been our coach supplier for the last six years including the VIP Service for the First Team & Reserve Teams. They provide and manage nearly 200 coach movements each year. Their coaches are always well presented as are all their drivers.
There is a dedicated contact at The Kings Ferry and through him and his team, we know they are in control of all the elements which culminate in a relaxed trip for our teams and supporters. Knowing that all the Coach Travel Management is in safe hands allows the various departments to concentrate their resources on other aspects of the business that are less focused.
I have no hesitation in recommending the Kings Ferry Group for use by other companies.”
- Tom Hendren, Procurement Manager, Fulham Football Club
“Venice Simplon Orient Express clients have very high expectations of service and comfort. Having worked with the Kings Ferry for over ten years now I have found they have always exemplified the levels of service expected by us and by our customers.
I have a dedicated contact at the Kings Ferry who I know is in full control of all aspects of our operation requiring coach movements. He and his team ensure the smooth running of all our coach operations whether it is being undertaken by the Kings Ferry or one of their partner coach operators. Knowing that the coach travel management is in safe hands make my job all the easier.”
- Pat Thomson, Operations Manager, British Pullman
We all know weddings can be stressful, there's so much that goes into your big day. From choosing a venue and finding your dream wedding dress to planning your hen/stag dos and making wedding favours. One of the biggest worries is making sure all your guests get to the wedding on time, you don't want to be giving directions as you're about to walk down the aisle.
We've transported thousands of wedding guests all over the country to their loved ones' big day. We have all the experience needed to take the stress out of this very special celebration. We'll pick up your guests from their homes or a central pick up point and take them to the ceremony. We'll shuttle your guests from the ceremony to the wedding reception. We'll even take them all home at the end of the night. Whether you need transport for your bridal party of 10 or your whole reception of 500, we provide the perfect solution.
Luxury Wedding Transport
We provide wedding coach hire all over the UK and in Europe, no matter the scale. From 16-seater minibuses to 77-seater double decker executive coaches, our luxury vehicles are the perfect wedding transport solution.
VIP Coach Hire
Our VIP coaches are the pinnacle of luxury. Your guests will experience the ultimate 'wow' factor when it comes to getting to your wedding in style. With luxurious leather seats and ample legroom, each of our VIP coaches have been handpicked to guarantee a five-star journey for every guest. Choose from either a swanky full kitchen or a rear star-lit lounge to keep your guests entertained. Our VIP coaches with the rear lounge are our most popular choice for wedding transport. To find out more about our VIP coaches, click here.
Executive Coach Hire
We understand not everyone needs fancy coaches with all the gadgets and gizmos, that's why our Executive coaches are an understated luxury option. With leather reclining seats, plenty of legroom and tinted windows, your guests will arrive feeling relaxed and ready to celebrate. Our executive coaches are a fantastic alternative to the VIP coaches when it comes to travelling long journeys. Each of the coaches have a hot drinks facilities along with refrigerator and toilet.
If you're looking for something a little more vintage, this classic 1950's style bus will get your guests talking. It's a popular choice for weddings and special events. Hiring a vintage bus for your big day is a great way to get all your guests transported together in style.
Even though The Kings Ferry is renowned for luxury coach travel, we also have other luxury vehicles to suit your needs. Our VIP car fleet offers a range of vehicles and models to choose from. If you want to arrive in style on your big day, we can help. With your own executive chauffeur, we can pick you up from your home and get you to the ceremony, take you from the ceremony to reception and take you home at the end of the night. Your VIP experience will last as long as you want it to.
It's not just weddings we cater to, luxury coach hire can prove the best form of transport for hen parties and stag do's too. Whether it's an airport drop-off or a night out in Brighton, the party starts when you get on-board.
For your chance to WIN A FREE VIP COACH HIRE EXPERIENCE come and see us at the National Wedding Show on 13-14 April 2019. If you can't make it, why not get in touch with the team today on 01634 377577 or click below for a quote.
The National Wedding Show Is Back & So Are We!
The National Wedding Show is one of the most important set of dates in the wedding show season. The string of shows are the biggest and best in the country with over 40,000 loved up couples attending each season. Filled with wedding inspiration from hundreds of different wedding suppliers, you are bound to find to perfect everything for your big day.
With The National Wedding Show coming to Excel London on the 13-14 April, you're not going to want to miss this!
We loved it so much last time, we're back for another year.
Last year saw us drive our VIP coach into Excel London and this year we're doing it again. Except this time round, we've got a brand new Mercedes VIP coach that will leave you feeling as dazzled as the stars in the rear lounge. You're invited to come on-board our new VIP coach, take a load off in the luxury leather seats, drink some bubbly in the rear lounge and chat to the team about how you can take your wedding day to the next level.
It's not just wedding day transport we offer either, Hen Parties and Stag Do's we'll have you traveling in luxury and arriving in style ready to party your last night of freedom away!
If touring our amazing coach and chatting to our fantastic team isn't enough to get you to our stand, perhaps a competition will?
This year we're giving away our BIGGEST prize ever!
For your chance to WIN A FREE VIP COACH HIRE EXPERIENCE all you have to do is take a picture of you and your friends on-board our VIP coach at the National Wedding Show and tag us on Twitter (@TheKingsFerry) or on Instagram (@kingsferry68) with the hashtag #VIPME for your chance to win. Good luck!
If you can't make it to The National Wedding Show but still want to enquire about how the Kings Ferry can help with your wedding, click here for more details. You'll be able to view our wedding brochure and take a virtual tour of our VIP coach.
The Kings Ferry Group expands with more than 10 new appointments and launches fresh corporate identity
The Kings Ferry Group, which specialises in coach travel, chauffeur transfers and ground transport management, has expanded its team to accommodate its recent growth. From sales and accounts to senior positions, there have been more than 10 new appointments made across the Group. To complement the growth and strategic plans, the company has developed a new corporate identity and branding which was unveiled for the first time in public at The Business Travel Show back in February.
The Kings Ferry Group, which formed late 2018, consists of four well-established coach operators. The Kings Ferry is renowned in Kent for its luxury coach hire and London commuter services. It also offers corporate clients a full transport management solution, along with VIP coach services and a full wrapping service. The company acquired Clarkes of London back in December 2016, before recently acquiring Stewarts Coach Group in September 2018. The Stewarts Coach Group is made up of four brands, Stewarts Coaches, Stewarts Tours, Woods Coaches and Woods Tours, which have all been taken on by The Kings Ferry Group.
Over the past six months, the Group which is part of National Express, has been developing a new strategy to ensure the expansion delivers efficiencies, enables key competencies to be shared across the business and provides a sustainable platform for future growth. The Group is on track to achieve its £50 million annual revenue target one year ahead of schedule and now has charge of a fleet of 223 vehicles, a 200% increase from 2016.
“Central to making the expansion a success is getting the right people in the right places, and we are delighted to announce that more than 10 new positions have been created within the Group and have been filled by experienced and competent people,” says Managing Director, Ian Fraser.
“Throughout this process we have been focused on creating a leadership structure that will sustain our recent growth, yet also provide room for more growth in the future. One outcome is the creation of several new director positions across the Group – some of which have been filled by existing managers, and others which are new appointments from outside of the business.”
The new Kings Ferry Group branding features a fresh visual treatment of the logo. “It’s really important that as the business gets bigger and more complex behind the scenes, our message to customers and stakeholders must become ever clearer. In its most simple form, what we do is connect people to the places they want to visit and however we do that, and wherever we do that, we will always strive to provide the best in service and value,” concludes Ian Fraser.
Celebrating 30 Years at The Kings Ferry
We would like to say a huge congratulations to Mick Keohane and Jim Merchant for their 30 years of service at The Kings Ferry. Thank you both for your ongoing commitment and continued service.
In celebration of their long service both were presented with awards from Ian Fraser, Managing Director, along with ‘thank you’ letters and a delicious ‘30’ cake in the iconic Kings Ferry colours.
Mick Keohane started his journey in 1989 as an Auto-Electrician before being promoted to Workshop Foreman, Engineering Manager and Engineering Director. Mick has recently been promoted to Group Engineering Director, overseeing the engineer work across The Kings Ferry, Clarkes of London, Stewarts Coaches and Woods Coaches.
Summarising his 30 years, Mick says, “I have enjoyed my years here. I’ve seen such a positive change in the structure and operation of the business. We are now safer and more compliant than ever and that’s down to the sheer hard work and dedication of the team around me. It’s always a pleasure to work for The Kings Ferry, it makes getting up in the morning worthwhile.”
Jim Merchant started his work back in 1989 as a coach driver. With his vast experience and impeccable knowledge he has seen many sights across the UK and Europe. He has been a coach driver on the commuter service, VIP private hire and for corporate contracts such as the Orient Express. Nowadays, he spends his time driving a coach between two locations for our biggest corporate contract.
We spoke to Anthony Smith, Operations Manager, and Darren Cleaver, Assistant Operations Manager about what it’s been like having Jim around.
“Jim has always been reliable, he runs like clockwork - always on time and never untidy. He never causes us any trouble. He’s one of our go-to coach drivers”, says Darren.
Anthony states, “Jim has been in the business for a long time, he knows how the job should be done. He’s even taught me a thing or two when I first started. He likes to keep standards high. He will always turn up looking his best, shirt buttoned to the top, tie done perfectly. He’s always so proud to be part of The Kings Ferry.”
Both Mick and Jim are a credit to The Kings Ferry. We are so pleased they have supported us for the past 30 years, we look forward to the many more years ahead.
A Day at The Races
Horse Racing is one of the longest established sports in Great Britain, dating back many centuries. With the UK having some of the world’s most iconic racecourses, it’s no surprise that we’ve produced some of the greatest jockeys of all time.
There are two main forms of horse racing, flat racing (distances between 5 furlongs and 2 miles 5 furlongs without obstacles) and National Hunt racing (distances between 2 miles and 4.5 miles, jumping over hurdles or fences). National Hunt races are more commonly known as steeplechases.
With horse racing being an event for everyone, let’s look at the major horse racing events and when they are happening.
When: 4-6th April 2019
This three-day festival held at Aintree Racecourse, Liverpool, is one of the most famous and most anticipated horse races in the world. With around 150,000 people attending every year, in addition to over half a million people who watch it on TV worldwide, The Grand National is definitely a race to attend. Ladies Day takes place on the Friday, with the infamous The Randox Health Grand National Steeple Chase taking place on the Saturday at 5:15pm with a £1 million prize fund.
With last year’s winner Tiger Roll set to compete again for 2019, will he be the next Red Rum and win the Grand National back-to-back?
When: 18-22nd June 2019
Royal Ascot is the epitome of sophistication, elegance and unparalleled racing. From private boxes to picnics, this five-day event is a right royal affair. The event attracts many of the world’s finest racehorses to compete for millions of pounds in prize money. Alongside the plethora of famous faces, the arrival of the Royal Procession is one of the event highlights, starting at 2pm sharp each day. Royal Ascot is an event like no other, with its spectacular heritage, high fashion, fine dining and pageantry making for an unforgettable experience.
When: 31st May – 1st June 2019
The Investec Derby Festival is run at Epsom Downs Racecourse in Surrey. This magnificent two-day event is a test of racehorse and wardrobe, not only does the festival feature the prestigious Style Awards but it is home to the Greatest Flat Race in the World. Opening the festival on the Friday is Ladies Day, a celebration for the fillies with some fantastic prizes up for grabs both on and off the track. From skydivers to celebrity DJs, this festival will kick-start your summer.
When: 19th April 2019
The All-Weather Championships concludes with a spectacular finals race at Lingfield Park on Good Friday. With over £1 million on offer over six race categories, this event sees the biggest prize fund for an all-weather raceday ever in Europe, and is one of the richest days in the UK. There’s plenty of entertainment for the whole family, from free face painters and live music to inflatable derby hoppers and an Easter egg hunt.
When: 21-24th August 2019
The Ebor Festival is a spectacular four-day event taking place at York Racecourse in the height of summer. With the oldest, richest, fastest and most famous races, the Ebor Festival is one not to be missed. The event kicks off with day one featuring the Juddmonte International, the richest race of the season and ranked first of all thoroughbred horses in the world. Ladies Day takes place on day two of the event, with some fabulous prizes up for grabs and the highest rated mare and fillies race in Europe. Day three sees the Nunthorpe Sprint, the fastest race of the festival, which ranked the highest rated 1,000 metre sprint in the world. Closing the fantastic series of races is the Ebor race, the oldest race of the festival which has been raced since 1840.
When: 30th July – 3rd August 2019
The Qatar Goodwood Festival, known as ‘Glorious Goodwood’, is one of the most beautiful racecourses in the world and is set in the Sussex countryside. This five-day festival is the highlight of the flat-racing season, with each day packing in as much action and excitement as the next. The first day of the event, on a Tuesday, will see the spectacular opening ceremony. With the Qatar Sussex Stakes being one of the seasons highlights featuring a prize fund of £1 million taking place on day two. Day three sees Ladies Day, the perfect event for socialising and raising money for charity in the unique ladies celebrity race, The Magnolia Cup. Glorious Goodwood ends its incredible festival with one of the most popular races in the world, the Qatar Stewards Cup which sees the finest sprinters dash towards the finishing line.
If you can't make any of these six famous horse racing events, The Jockey Club website has details on a whole host of racedays that are suitable for everyone.
How to Get There
With over 220 vehicles in our fleet nationwide and access to the UK’s largest operator network, we’ve got the perfect transport to get you to the races. From luxury VIP coaches and stylish executive coaches to minibuses and chauffeur-driven cars, we can provide transport for groups of all sizes.
For racedays, the most popular coach hire is our VIP coaches. They are the pinnacle of excellence and won’t fail to impress. With luxury leather seats, ample legroom, and your choice of either a rear lounge or a full kitchen area, every guest is guaranteed a VIP experience like no other.
Billy Ocean Tours VIP
Billy Ocean, the R&B legend from the 1970s and 1980s is touring the UK in one of our VIP coaches. With more than 30 million records to his name, he's an international singer-songwriter with hits including; Caribbean Queen, Get Outta My Dreams, Suddenly and more!
Performing live across the UK for 9 nights is The Best of Billy Ocean. The tour hit the UK on the 1st March in Sheffield and will finish on the 14th March in Stoke. Bringing the party to Sheffield, Brighton, Cambridge, Llandudno, Plymouth, Bath, Leicester, Nottingham and Stoke. While Billy Ocean brings the party to you, we bring the party (and a smile) to him with our VIP coach.
Our experienced driver Daniel Crole was tasked with the job to drive Billy Ocean and his team around the UK.
“I turned up to work just like any other day and checked my pigeon hole for the jobs I had coming up. I couldn’t believe what I’d been given, the Billy Ocean Tour!
I was buzzing, I heard that something big had come in a few days before but never imagined it would be assigned to me. Definitely a highlight in my career meeting Billy Ocean, what an honour!” – Daniel Crole, VIP Driver.
Travelling between venues up and down the country in a VIP coach is the ultimate transport choice for artists on tour. Billy Ocean and his team arrive in style, put on a fantastic show, relax in the on-board lounge at the end of the night before hitting the hay and doing it all again in the morning!
If you’re an artist looking to tour the UK or Europe, travel in luxury on one of our VIP coaches. Choose from either a full kitchen or a rear lounge to help you unwind after a show. Enjoy a five-star experience from start to finish. For more information on our VIP coach hire services, contact the team on 01634 377 577 or get a quote below. Quick Quote
Business Meetings in Manchester, where to eat and sleep.
Manchester is a metropolitan city situated 2 hours from London. It is the birthplace of the industrial revolution and home to the largest club football stadium in the UK, Old Trafford (Manchester United's football ground). With the third largest airport in the UK and the busiest airport outside London, it's no surprise Manchester is one of the most exciting places to visit in the UK right now.
Manchester is quickly becoming a hotspot for new businesses, with the number of companies soaring in the last four years. Statistics from the ONS show that as of 2018, there are 23,845 businesses in Manchester - a 58% rise from 15,060 in 2014.
With its bustling city centre jam-packed with hotels, restaurants, galleries, museums and much more, it's easy to get overwhelmed in this big city! We've got some recommendations on the best places to eat and sleep when having business meetings in Manchester.
Where To Stay
Manchester offers a wide range of accommodation, from hostels to luxury five-star hotels, whatever your budget, there's something to suit everyone.
King Street Townhouse
Part of the Eclectic Hotel Collection, the Kings Street Townhouse is rich with Italian renaissance history. This impressive hotel is number 1 out of 122 hotels in Manchester on TripAdvisor, boasting a five-star rating as well as a Certificate of Excellence. With a sixth-floor bar terrace, south-facing rooms and suites, and a rooftop pool, this hotel oozes sophistication and is the perfect setting to close a business deal.
Hotel Indigo Manchester - Victoria Station
The Hotel Indigo is situated a short distance from Manchester's city centre and a few steps from Manchester Victoria station. A blend of the city's Victorian and Industrial past with a hint of contemporary, Hotel Indigo has a laid-back Bohemian feel to it. A fantastic hotel with a five-star TripAdvisor rating, this one is definitely worth a stay.
The Cow Hollow Hotel
This cool, hip boutique hotel is set in a fully restored Victorian warehouse, and sits within Manchester's Northern Quarter, a mere 500 meters from Manchester Piccadilly Train Station. This boutique hotel features 16 outstanding rooms, each with a huge, super-comfortable bed complete with goose down duvets and pillows, large rainfall shower, NETFLIX access with Smart TV, complimentary hot drinks and much more. The perfect place to stay when hustling through business deals.
Where To Dine
As one of the UK's most exciting foodie destinations, Manchester has an extensive culinary scene to suit every taste bud. With a thriving food and drink culture, there are numerous restaurants, gastropubs, bars and cafes opening up every week, but which one should you choose for your next business meeting?
Fazenda Rodizio Bar & Grill
Fazenda Manchester blends together all the tradition behind the unique Brazilian way of serving, keeping the tradition alive and sharing the history of the gaucho heritage. Guests can indulge in the freshly-grilled meats, churrascaria-style carved at the table by the passadores. Complimenting the fine South American food is Fazenda's comprehensive selection of Argentinian and Brazilian wines. This high-end restaurant also features three luxurious private rooms perfect for business meetings.
Peter Street Kitchen
The Peter Street Kitchen offers exquisite small plates of contemporary Japanese and Mexican cuisine, complimented by fine wines, sake and cocktails. With the two served together in what may seem an unlikely pairing, this fine dining restaurant showcases the complimenting flavours and ingredients of both cuisines. The Peter Street Kitchen offers alternative experiences in the Rikyu Lounge along with private dining experiences.
This British steakhouse and cocktail bar is located in a late Victorian courthouse on Deangate, and is said to have the best steaks in Manchester. With a menu consisting of ethically-reared beef, grass-fed native cattle, sustainable seafood caught off the British coast and seasonal fruits and vegetables, this restaurant's menu revolves around using the best ingredients they can find. Locally brewed beers, original cocktails and select wines accompany the selection of dishes on offer.
We’ll get you to Manchester in style so you can explore all this vibrant city has to offer and secure that business deal!
For a hassle-free quote on coach hire to Manchester click below.
It's time for Merlin Attractions!
Europe's largest entertainment company, Merlin Entertainment, operates an impressive 120 attractions over 25 countries in North America, Europe, Asia and Oceania. Luckily for us here in the UK it's almost time for the theme parks to open their rides again! We can't wait!
Here are 4 of our favourite theme parks in the UK and what you can expect for 2019:
Season starts: 23rd March 2019
Alton Towers is the UK's number one theme park and last year saw over 2.3 million visitors. This year will see the expansion of their holiday village with the new stargazing pods. These minimalist themed pods are perfect for families, couples and friends who love escaping to the great outdoors.
The new ride for 2019 is the Alton Towers Dungeon, a hilariously hideous journey through Staffordshire's darkest history! You'll be sentenced by the Bishop of Stafford, battle to survive the plague, endure the Torturer and come face to face with the Witch of Burslem's ghost!
There really is something for everyone at Alton Towers. If the Dungeon is too scary for you, there's plenty of other rides that will have you screaming of joy. For the thrill seekers you've got last year's ride Wicker Man, the UK's first new wooden coaster built in over 20 years, along with the classic thrill rides such as Oblivion, Nemesis and Rita. For some family fun there is the Runaway Mine Train which twists and turns, getting faster and faster, the Frog Hopper and the good old family favourite, Congo River Rapids. For the little ones, they will have lots of fun in CBeebies Land. They can enjoy a magical boat ride with In The Night Garden, help Postman Pat with his Parcel Post ride and cause lots of chaos in Justin's House Pie-O-Matic Factory.
Seasons starts: 10th March 2019
Home to an exciting theme park, Chessington Zoo, SEA LIFE Centre, 2 fantastic on-site hotels and a high ropes and camp site, Chessington World of Adventures is Britain’s wildest adventure, seeing more than 1.5 million visitors each year.
Chessington’s Theme Park was one of the first themed amusement parks in Britain. With 10 themed lands ranging from Mexicana and Wild Asia to the Forbidden Kingdom and Land of the Tiger, and over 40 rides and attractions, it’s no wonder Chessington World of Adventures is a firm family favourite. The Vampire ride and The Gruffalo River Ride Adventure are the park’s most popular family rides, they’ll see you soaring above the treetops or floating down a magical lazy river.
Chessington Zoo is the original attraction at Chessington World of Adventures. With over 1,000 exotic animals, you’ll have the chance to come face-to-face with Lions, Monkeys, Penguins, Gorillas and much more. Make your wildest dreams come true by going VIP, meet and greet with some incredible animals, or become a zoo keeper for a day!
At the end of your fun-filled family day out, you’ll be able to relax in one of the on-site hotels, the Azteca or Safari Hotel. Each hotel has unique and interactive restaurants, access to the Savannah Splash Pool and exclusive hotel benefits such as Early Ride Time.
Season starts: 29th March 2019
As one of the UK’s leading amusement parks, Thorpe Park is home to over 30 thrilling rides, attractions and live events. Thorpe Park Resort is the perfect place for thrill seekers and features some of the UK’s most popular roller coasters.
With 5 of the UK’s top roller coasters on its island, Thorpe Park is known for its record-breaking rides. Launch yourself from 0-80mph in 1.8 seconds to a height of 205ft on Stealth, a coaster which has the fastest acceleration in Europe. Take flight on The Swarm, the UK’s first winged coaster. Face one of Jigsaw’s most twisted traps in SAW – The Ride, the world’s first horror themed roller coaster featuring a 100ft ‘beyond-vertical’ drop. Ride Thorpe Park’s first major attraction, Colossus, the world’s first ten looping rollercoaster. With so many ‘firsts’ and record-breaking rides, Thorpe Park is not for the faint hearted.
If you’ve had too much excitement for one day, head to the Thorpe Shark Hotel, the park’s on-site hotel. The hotel features air-con, shower en-suites and television in every room, as well as unlimited WiFi throughout the hotel and unlimited Fastrack until 11am!
Season starts: 15th March 2019
LEGOLAND Windsor Resort is a unique family theme park, themed around the LEGO toy. It is the second LEGOLAND in the world, after LEGOLAND Billund in Denmark. Seeing as the LEGO brand is a formidable force in the toy industry, it’s no surprise that LEGOLAND Windsor saw more than 2.2 million visitors last year.
2019 will see the opening of a brand new ride, The Haunted House Monster Party, which opens on Saturday 13th April. This spook-tacular ride is fun for the whole family as Lord Vampyre turns the house upside down for a Monster Party. For limited dates throughout March you’ll be able to join in the celebrations of the new THE LEGO MOVIE 2. See the Apocolypsburg film set, meet Emmet, Wyldstyle and Sweet Mayhem, and explore MINILAND to help Emmet find his friends. It’s going to be awesome! In addition to the new ride The Haunted House Monster Party, is an exclusive 4D movie that will have the whole family laughing out loud, LEGO City 4D – Officer in Pursuit!
Save between 20 – 35% off your ticket price when you book an attraction package through The Kings Ferry. Attraction packages include park entry and coach hire. For additional extras such as VIP experiences, hotel stays and more, contact our sales team for the best price.
Upcoming Wedding Shows
It's that time of year where we're out of the peak proposal dates (Christmas, New Year, Valentines Day) but not quite in wedding season yet - which means wedding show time!
Wedding shows are THE place to be if you are looking for inspiration for your big day, not to mention you can pick up some great deals at the events too. From catwalk shows to sweet carts, DIY workshops to dream honeymoon destinations, wedding shows have it all. We've got a few favourites that are worth popping along to...
The National Wedding Show
When: 13th - 14th April 2019
Where: ExCeL London
The National Wedding Show is the perfect place for wedding inspiration. The shows boast thousands of suppliers and host hundreds of thousands of visitors each year! With their next local event happening at ExCeL London, it's made it onto our go-to list. You'll find everything you need for your special day at the ExCeL show. With over 200 suppliers exhibiting, you'll have the chance to watch showstopping catwalks, take part in free creative classes and enter into some amazing competitions.
Did we mention we'll be there exhibiting too? We're your perfect transport provider for your wedding guests, we'll make sure they get picked up, taken to the ceremony, transferred to the wedding reception and back home again. We're also giving away the chance to win FREE tickets to this incredible wedding show, head to our Facebook page for more details.
Gay Wedding Show
When: 3rd March 2019
Where: Mercure Maidstone Great Danes Hotel
It's back! It's Kent's first Gay Wedding Show since 2005, a lengthy 14 years since the last event. Prepare to meet Kent's finest wedding suppliers, set over 3 rooms at the Mercure Great Danes Hotel. This one-day event will give you all the inspiration you need for your big day. From bridal and menswear to party planners, DJ's to photographers, you'll leave with so many new ideas, you'll want to have them all!
The Wedding Experience
When: 14th April 2019
Where: The Kent Showground, Detling
The Wedding Experience at The Kent Showground is the largest wedding show in the South of England. Every year the show brings over 200 exhibitors and attracts over 1,200 couples. The focal point of this wedding fair has to be it's fantastic entertainment throughout the day. Hosted by the KMFM Radio presenters, the suppliers take centre stage with presentations, fashion shows and interactive entertainment that will see couples entering for the chance to win some fabulous prizes.
When: 16th - 17th March 2019
Where: Leeds Castle
Leeds Castle's Wedding Showcase will leave you dreaming of that fairytale wedding. As this historical Castle marks its 900-year anniversary it is one of, if not the most romantic place in Kent to hold your wedding day. Sip sparkling wine as you take a tour through the Castle, Maiden's Tower and the newly restored, Battel Hall, all decorated with gorgeous floral displays from the RHS award-winning in-house Floristry Team.
Medway's Biggest Wedding Fair
When: 2nd June 2019
Where: Medway Park, Gillingham
Medway's Biggest Wedding Fair is brand new for 2019. With over 60 wedding professionals from the Medway towns and surrounding areas all under one roof, you are sure to find inspiration here. The fair will see exhibitors showcasing wedding dresses, lavish cakes and stunning photography along with some more unusual ideas. Even though the show is brand new, the exhibitors have an abundance of knowledge and experience when it comes to helping you plan your wedding day.
Commuting, that tedious notion of travelling between home and work on a regular basis. It’s no easy feat when, according to research by the TUC, the UK spends 58 minutes a day commuting. With Londoners leading the way travelling 1 hour and 21 minutes each day to and from work. Whether you’re commuting by train or coach, we’ve got 5 ways that will help you make the most of your commute.
Learn a language
Learning a language can be beneficial to your work life, as well as adding a new skill to your CV. Known as the business language of the future, Mandarin Chinese is a great language to learn, although maybe not the easiest. Any language learnt will put you in good stead for that next promotion or life-changing interview, whatever comes your way. One of the best apps you can download to learn a new language is Duolingo, it’s also completely free.
Commuting is the perfect time to lose yourself in a book. You’ll feel awakened before you get to the office, or it will help you escape the stresses of the day. With so many e-readers available nowadays, you’ll be spoilt for choice on what to read. Or perhaps you take a more traditional approach to reading where nothing beats a hard-backed book. Swap recommendations or trade books with your fellow commuters to open your mind to reads you wouldn’t usually consider, just be sure not to miss your stop.
Set daily goals
Get ahead of the day by setting yourself goals. Whether they are work or personal goals, they’ll help you finish the day with a sense of achievement. You could even use your commute to work towards bigger goals, perhaps weekly or yearly goals. Some have even started their own successful businesses using their commute time, such as the case for Seat Sixty-One and Web2Carz.
This may seem an obvious one, but talking to others is a great motivator. Everyone on your commute are doing the same thing, travelling to work, but how many have you actually spoken to? Speaking to others will help you on a daily basis to take influence from them, share your ideas, get their feedback, and get you out of your comfort zone. It’s far too easy to revert to our digital devices and scroll through countless posts on Facebook, on average we spend three years on social media. Imagine the relationships you could build in that time.
You’re sure to see many commuters on their travels immersing themselves in a Sudoku puzzle, crossword or word search. Not only does it pass the time but it also keeps your mind active – think of it as brain-training. You can choose to pick up a puzzle book from your local store or download one of the many apps on your phone. It’s a great way to stimulate your mind ready for the day ahead.
With all these new ideas on how to make the most of your commute, you need to be able to put these into practice in comfort. When commuting by coach you’re not only saving on average 52 minutes compared to a train but you’re guaranteed a seat!
For more information on commuting by coach, click here.
Business Travel Show - What a Show!
This year marked the 25th anniversary for the Business Travel Show, Europe’s largest specialised exhibition and conference. A show that brings travel professionals across Europe together to explore the latest technology releases, meet suppliers and learn from the industry’s top influencers.
We’ve been exhibiting at The Business Travel Show consecutively for the past 6 years. This year was our best so far!
Late 2018 saw the formation of The Kings Ferry Group, while the Group was formed, the corporate identity had only recently been made public. Our focus for the stand this year was to showcase the new brand, that’s why we went bigger and better!
Our trusted exhibition manufacturers, ESM Ltd, were on hand to design and build our stand. We wanted to concentrate on providing a ‘Complete Transport Management Solution’ for businesses, no matter the scale, all across the UK. We featured a few clients who we work with; BBC, British Airways, Blue Cube, UEFA, Metropolitan Police and See Tickets. As well as our stand entertainment, Matty Evans the magician and a Strike-A-Light game.
Our Strike-A-Light game was one of the highlights of the stand, it was incredibly effective and successful. The aim was to test your reactions and see if you have what it takes to be a Coach Driver. The game could be played solo or head-to-head in a race to push as many lit-up buttons as possible in the allotted time. The highest score over the two days of The Business Travel Show won a fantastic prize. We had visitors come back multiple times to try and beat their score and reach the top of the leader board, one woman had 6 attempts over the two days!
One player led the way from Day 1, many tried to beat him but failed. Our Strike-A-Light champion was Eddy from Travel by Inspire. He scored a whopping 163 points, while second place scored 152.
“No-one came close to his score, he was so quick!”, says Ashley Close, Business Development Manager.
The game itself represented National Express’ ‘Driving out Harm’ safety scheme, which is part of a nationwide program to provide safety training for drivers, engineers and staff on our sites.
Matty Evans – Magician
Back again on our stand for 2019 was Matty Evans, a close-up magician who continued to wow visitors for another year running. Matty’s amazing sleight of hand, tricks and illusions kept our visitors entertained and mesmerised while the rest of the team were busy talking to prospective clients.
“I’m glad to see Matty Evans was back for another year, his magic tricks impressed the visitors which kept them on the stand until one of us was free.
Seeing their reactions is always a highlight when working with Matty. He’s a great magician and never fails to impress!”, says James Hill, Business Development Manager.
What a Success…
“The show was a great success for us this year. We spoke to many new clients all with a real need for our offering. We met with a number of existing clients who were keen to tell us how pleased they were with our service and how we have made their coach and car travel requirements so much easier to arrange.
The days flew by as we were so busy, it was a really enjoyable and positive event. Business Travel Show is the biggest event in our calendar year on year, it’s always our most successful and valuable event.
We’re looking forward to working with some of the new clients we met this year and will definitely be back for 2020!”, says Vikki Street, Head of Business Development.
The event was a huge success, thanks to the hard work and support of our marketing, business development and management teams for ensuring such a great show. Thanks to ESM, BigFunUK and Matty Evans for creating a brilliant stand and providing amazing entertainment. More importantly, thanks to all the visitors and prospective clients who came to meet us on our stand.
Driver Open Day
On Saturday 23rd February, we held our first ever Driver Open Day at our Head Office in Gillingham, Kent. The event was open to both licensed and non-licensed PCV drivers; the day was a hit with close to 100 visitors walking through our gates, and over 60 expressing their interest in working with us!
On The Day…
As the fog lifted in the morning and the gates opened at 10am, there was an immediate influx of people. We saw many visitors who had come from different backgrounds, most of which were looking for a career change.
“At one point, we had people queuing outside the building to sign up!”, says Anthony Smith, Operations Manager.
Visitors were able to tour the coaches, listen to real experiences from our drivers, discuss opportunities with the management team and learn about the training programme for non-licensed PCV drivers. There was also an ice-cream and waffle van to keep visitors refreshed, along with hot dogs to fuel their day. Delicious!
“The day went fantastically, we had close to 100 visitors attend. We showed off some of the VIP fleet, including our new Mercedes Executive and the VIP Yutong coaches. The training team did an emergency evacuation display using the ‘50th Anniversary’ coach and we also did a short coach trip into Rochester and back for our visitors.
An area was set up where the trainees could all sign up to join which Debbie Mann, Lawrence O’Neill and Lok Gurung managed. They processed everyone that expressed an interest, (which there were quite a few) and managed to maintain a calm and professional demeanour all day, they were superb!
The rest of the team held meet and greet sessions, selling what we offer as a business and what we can do as a team. They were all great and answered all questions with enthusiasm and honesty.
Overall, the day went extremely well and the ice-cream van was a big hit. We have learnt from this event and are looking to stage another later in the year.” states Anthony Smith, Operations Manager.
The Kings Ferry Academy
One of the company’s newest ventures, The Kings Ferry Academy has had a great start, with over 50 people from the event interested in starting their career as a Kings Ferry Coach Driver. The in-house training team, headed by Simon Le-Mar, will be in full force over the next couple of months to get those interested trained up and out on the road.
PCV Training takes on average one month to complete and those successful will be given a two-year employment contract with The Kings Ferry.
Over the next few weeks interviews will be held at our Gillingham office and those who are successful will be given the opportunity to join our growing company, either as a qualified driver or as a trainee.
If you wasn’t able to make it to the Driver Open Day on the 23rd February then do not fear! You can still apply for jobs on our Work With Us page, or follow us on Facebook to be one of the first to know when the next Driver Open Day will be!
A Huge Thanks To...
On behalf of Anthony Smith, and all at The Kings Ferry we would like to thank the following staff members for their exceptional support on the day, from our head office; Darren Cleaver, Simon Le-Mar, Lee Miller, Dave Mann, Steve Pennell, Lewis Byrne, Kevin Jenner, Jaimie Florea, Ollie Taylor, Izaak Mann, Denny Gale, Mike Mabaleka and Pete Raven.
From our East Kent depot, we’d like to thank Quin Dodkins and from Clarkes of London we’d like to thank Joe Westgate and Wayne Jamera.
We would like to give a special thanks to Debbie Mann, Lawrence O’Neill and Lok Gurung who went above and beyond on the day. A huge thanks to all those mentioned above, all of whom we would not have been able to do it without.
Of course, we would also like to express our thanks to all of our wonderful visitors and prospective new drivers. It was a pleasure to meet you all and we hope to be in touch very soon!
Finally, we would like to take the time to appreciate and congratulate Anthony Smith for all his hard work in arranging and making the event such a success.
Business Travel Show 2019
It’s that time of year again when Europe’s largest specialised exhibition and conference brings together more than 9,000 travel professionals. This year the Business Travel Show will be celebrating its 25th Anniversary at Excel London on 20-21 February and we can’t wait to exhibit!
Last Year’s Exhibition
Last year’s show was a success, we partnered with some fantastic companies and forged excellent business relationships. Visitors were dazzled by Matty Evan’s magic tricks and enjoyed sipping on cocktails as we discussed ground transport solutions.
What’s New For 2019
In addition to Clarkes of London, The Kings Ferry has acquired two more coach hire companies, Stewarts Coaches of Reading and Woods Coaches of Leicester. With all four well-established coach hire companies working together, The Kings Ferry Group was formed. The Group will be showcasing itself for the first time at the Business Travel Show.
2019 Exhibition Stand
This year’s stand will see more fun and entertainment than last year. We’ll be pulling Matty Evans out of the hat for another round of magic. And if magic isn’t your thing, get competitive in our new game that will pit you against the entire Business Travel Show in a bid to win one amazing prize.
We’ll be exhibiting on Stand B161, opposite The Artisan Bakery. Our industry experts will be on hand to answer your questions and have a chat about all things ground transport.
The Kings Ferry Group to reveal new brand identity at The Business Travel Show 2019
The Kings Ferry Group will be revealing to the public it’s new brand identity for the first time at the Business Travel Show on the 20th and 21st February 2019. It’s an exciting time for the Group, having only been formed recently after the acquisition of two more coach operators, Stewarts Coaches and Woods Coaches.
The Group consists of four established, professional coach hire businesses each boasting a long history of award-winning excellence; The Kings Ferry, Clarkes of London, Stewarts Coaches of Reading and Woods Coaches of Leicester.
The Kings Ferry Group
The Kings Ferry
The Kings Ferry is the leading private coach hire specialist in Kent and surrounding counties. The company has an outstanding reputation and is a multi-award winning coach operator, having won UK Coach Operator of the Year over 17 times. The Kings Ferry is renowned for its ability to provide the very best luxury coach hire service.
Clarkes of London
Clarkes of London has over 60 years’ experience in delivering a first class service. Offering great value and high quality coach hire, Clarkes of London are recognised within the coach industry as one of the top UK coach hire companies. The company have won numerous awards for its high quality fleet including Mercedes-Benz Award, Best in Class and Route One Excellence Awards.
Stewarts Coaches are one of only 21 UK companies to be part of the prestigious Guild of British Coach Operators. With a focus on providing the best drivers, highest safety standards and a luxurious fleet of vehicles, Stewarts have an unrivalled reputation as one of the country’s leading coach providers.
Woods Coaches have a long-standing history of delivering the ultimate travel experience. With a state of the art fleet and professional industry leading drivers, Woods Coaches ensure their customers’ experience is second to none. Their tours programme is of exceptional value and also one of the main contributors to their impressive reputation.
Kings Ferry Connections
Working within The Kings Ferry is Kings Ferry Connections, specialists in transport management solutions and the UK’s largest network of fully audited operators. From nationwide contracts, disaster contingency to complete transport management, Kings Ferry Connections has the ability to offer any coach, at anytime, anywhere across the UK.
The Kings Ferry Group will be the face of all four coach hire businesses when attending exhibitions. To showcase the Group further there are a few exhibitions lined up throughout the year, such as South East Bus Festival and National Wedding Show.
Keep your eyes peeled for more exciting news about The Kings Ferry Group as and when it happens.
Hold Your Own Anti-Valentine’s Celebration
Valentine’s Day, the day of celebration for love and affection. Everywhere you look there’s bouquets upon bouquets of red roses, cute teddy bears saying ‘I Love You’ and more chocolate than Willy Wonka’s.
Singletons, be prepared for a weekend filled with listening to stories about candle-lit dinners, romantic hand-written poems and countless ‘We’re Engaged!’ posts.
Sound all too familiar?
Well it doesn’t have to be, take a stand this Valentine’s Day and treat yourself. Grab a bunch of your single friends, a fancy coach to travel in style and a great destination and there you have it, your very own anti-Valentine’s celebration.
Get Out Of Town
With the town’s bursting with loved up couples this weekend, head out of town. The countryside is filled with cosy cottages, luxurious manors and stylish barn conversions that can be hired for the weekend. Many of which have hot tubs, indoor swimming pools or games rooms, the perfect addition to a group weekend away!
Singles Parties In The Capital
London is filled with swanky pubs and clubs that are hosting singles parties on Valentine’s Day or at the weekend. These lavish parties see celebrity appearances, famous DJ sets, cocktail displays and much more. While most of the parties require tickets to be purchased in advance, there are still some pubs and clubs that allow entrance on the door.
Take Your Mind Off It
There are many activities available to groups up and down the country. Enjoy a relaxing spa weekend with treatments all round to help you and your friends feel pampered and refreshed. In contrast, challenge your mind and body with an adventure day at the newly opened Bear Grylls Adventure in NEC Birmingham.
With so many ways in which you can celebrate being single this Valentine’s Day, why not get your friends together and make this year one to remember.
We’d like to say congratulations!
After weeks of training, Kim and Sarah, our newest recruits have completed their PCV training at our Gillingham office. Both coach drivers have been on the road for over a month and have been providing a fantastic service to our customers. Our in-house trainer Simon has been thoroughly impressed with the progress our new recruits have made, saying: “They are both doing really well. The speed in which they have been able to adapt and rise to the challenge is great. We are all very proud of them and pleased they have joined our driver’s team”.
Perhaps you’ve seen them on your travels?
Say ‘Hi’ to Kim who is on our University of Kent campus shuttle service. And to Sarah who is one of our commuter drivers connecting Medway to London. If you think they are doing a great job, why not leave them a Trustpilot review.
At The Kings Ferry we like to invest in our employees, in addition to rewarding them for exceptional work. One of our coach drivers, Steve, has recently undergone training to be a Driver Trainer. He’s now fully qualified and ready to help new recruits on the road to gaining their PCV Licence.
At the end of February we’ll be welcoming 5 more drivers to our PCV training programme; we can’t wait to get them on-board and continue to grow The Kings Ferry family!
We are always on the look-out for talent. If you have a PCV Licence and would like to apply for a Coach Driver position you can apply on our ‘Work With Us’ page. If you need to renew your licence or are looking to get into coach driving, we are hosting a recruitment day that offers the perfect opportunity to start your career and get back behind the wheel!
Our driver recruitment day is on the 23rd February, and we are pleased to invite you to come and meet our team, speak to the drivers, trainers, managers and much more! For more information on the driver recruitment day, visit our dedicated page here.