Darwin Escapes announce a new two year partnership with Guernsey Cricket.

Darwin Escapes are absolutely delighted to be partnering with Guernsey Cricket as the National Team and Under 19 Sponsor for the next two years.

As part of the partnership Darwin Escapes’ logos will be featured on the 2021 Guernsey Cricket kit including a shirt which was designed by a Year 5 student from Amherst School. Tori Topley, who entered her design into the ‘Design a Guernsey National Team Shirt’ competition ran by Guernsey Cricket during the lockdown earlier this year. The competition received a total of 50 entries and Tori’s design was selected as the winner.

Marketing Manager Fiona Bousfield said: “We are always looking for highly regarded clubs and businesses that align with our values and we felt that Guernsey Cricket would be a great fit. We’re excited to build our relationship and work with all the team.”

Cricket has been played in Guernsey since the late 19th century and the Guernsey Cricket Association, which now has over 30 clubs, was founded in 1927. On the island all 15 junior schools and 5 secondary schools play cricket with school visits and tournaments arranged by Guernsey Cricket.

Speaking about the new partnership, Mark Latter Guernsey Cricket CEO said: “With so much uncertainty in the world today the show of faith in Guernsey Cricket by Darwin Escapes is amazing.

“We are really excited to be working with the team there and look forward to promoting their brand. We will be looking for new, innovative and exciting ways to bring each other’s activities and offers to the wider cricket public.”

Keep an eye on the Darwin Escapes website and social media going forward for updates on the partnership with Guernsey Cricket. You can also follow Guernsey Cricket on their social media: @guernseycricket

Visit the Guernsey Cricket website for more information on the team

Photographs by Martin Gray – www.guernseysportphotography.com

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An exciting new chapter for one of Scotland’s top golfing venues, Dundonald Links, begins today with the launch of a new website and video, which set out the vision for an ambitious £25m investment that will see the club transform into a luxury golf resort from next summer – and lodge bookings are now open.

2021 will mark a new era for the esteemed course, owned by Darwin Escapes and located on Scotland’s west coast in Ayrshire, a year which will herald the planned opening of a new clubhouse and overnight accommodation facilities for individual and group guests.

Bookable for stays from July 2021, 18 luxury lodges – which feature two, four or six bedrooms – have been custom-designed with golfers in mind, with bag storage and drying areas, en-suite bathrooms, large living spaces and fully-equipped kitchen and dining facilities. Dundonald Links course designer Kyle Phillips is also creating a series of private putting greens on their doorstep.

Phillips is also overseeing £1m of investment in the course itself, with a focus on improving the playing environment and experience, and the addition of a new half-way house.

The combination of the course improvements, new clubhouse and overnight offering will play an important role in operator Darwin Escape’s aspirations to create one of the best venues in the UK to stay and play golf. The leisure operator acquired the club last year and promised to invest in new facilities from the outset after seeing its boundless potential and idyllic location.

Already a well-respected test for bucket-list golfers from across the world, Dundonald has hosted many major professional golf events since 2008 – including the Ladies’ Scottish Open in 2015, 2016 and 2017 and the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open in 2017.

Ian Ferguson, club manager, said: “We wanted to give the golf course the outstanding facilities that it deserves and give golfers everything they could possibly want from a golf break – and this investment programme will do just that.

“Our new video and website encapsulates our vision as we head into this incredibly exciting chapter of Dundonald’s history.

“We are really excited about the new clubhouse and accommodation and can’t wait to welcome our first overnight guests in summer 2021.  The Ayrshire coast is home to some of Scotland’s finest links courses and Dundonald Links will make the ideal base for golfers to explore all that it has to offer.”

Planned for opening later next year, the new two-storey clubhouse will be a striking contemporary design, with large balconies overlooking the course and panoramic views to the Isle of Arran. Facilities within the clubhouse will include a pro shop, restaurant, bar, whiskey tasting room, outdoor dining terrace, as well as a gym, sauna, steam room and extensive changing facilities.

Set amongst the picturesque Scottish countryside, the new clubhouse will be created from natural materials, finished with local whinstone and a grass roof, to blend seamlessly with the rugged landscape and surroundings and coincide with Dundonald’s long-term commitment to sustainability, conservation and nature.

In addition, Dundonald Links will cut the ribbon on 22 hotel rooms later next year, these situated beside the clubhouse for ease of access to the restaurant and club facilities.

For further information please contact Kevin Paver on Kevin.Paver@darwinescapes.co.uk

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UK holiday resort company Darwin Escapes has opened its first resort in the Peak District.

Rivendale Lodge Retreat in Alsop en le Dale officially opened its doors and welcomed the first guests on Friday 18th September.

Previously known as Alsop Rivendale Caravan and Leisure Park; a touring, tent and glamping site, the site was acquired in January 2017 and has been completely redeveloped by Darwin Escapes.

It’s now home to 74 luxurious holiday rental lodges set in the tranquil surroundings of a disused limestone quarry and the Peak District countryside. The resort has a bar and bistro on-site which provides both a snack and dine in menu and also currently offers a delivery service straight to your lodge door.

You can choose from one to four bed lodges, or if you’re looking for a romantic and quirky escape then choose the one bedroom Buxton Lodge and wake up surrounded by the countryside.

All accommodation on the resort is self-contained making it the ideal destination for a UK staycation during these challenging times. They have fully fitted self-catering kitchens and living areas and the master bedrooms boast en-suites. All lodges have a decking area and the premier lodges even have their own private hot tub.

Regional General Manager, Pat Campbell said: “We are delighted to open the doors to Rivendale Lodge Retreat. It is exciting to be welcoming our very first guests to the resort. We’re sure each guest that visits will really love their escape to the Peak District.”

Rivendale Lodge Retreat is the 21st resort added to the Darwin Escapes portfolio, alongside two golf courses, but is the first of its kind to be placed in the Derbyshire County.

Managing Director of Darwin Escapes, Lindsey Esse said: “Our Rivendale Lodge Retreat has been three years in the planning and making and we’re thrilled to be able to welcome guests to come and stay at the resort.

“We’re so pleased to finally have a staycation location in such a stunning area of the Peak District. Rivendale Lodge Retreat is a great addition to the Darwin Escapes portfolio, its countryside setting is perfect for those wanting a relaxing UK staycation.”

Off-peak midweek four night breaks at the new resort start at £195 and for a weekend stay from Friday to Monday prices start at £205.

For more information on the Rivendale Lodge Retreat or to book a holiday at the resort visit the website 

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Book your Arrive & Drive session at GYG Karting and get an exclusive Darwin Escapes discount code for this Championship Circuit. Hidden in the North Wales landscape, GYG Karting is Redbull’s No.1 kart track in the UK and is open all year round for you to enjoy! Ideal for families and people of all ages to jump in a go kart in one the longest tracks in the country, with a friendly team on hand to guide all skill levels.

Darwin Escapes have partnered with GYG Karting to offer you a fabulous 10% discount off Arrive & Drive sessions booked via their website. Use the code ‘darwin’ when booking for your discount to be applied.

what’s arrive & drive?

Open to anyone aged 9 and up, the Arrive & Drive session is a fun activity for all racing buffs, with both junior and senior kart available for a trip around the British Championship circuit.

Test your karting skills and learn some new ones with these sessions, with non-restricted Honda and Cadet carts. Get competitive with your family and friends as you zoom around the track and try to get to the top of the leader board.

You’ll be given a full safety briefing, racing suit and helmet before the 10 minute race. You’ll have a fabulous day out with all your friends and family racing around this extraordinary track in the heart of Snowdonia.

GYG Karting also have a number of other events you can book, including kids parties and large adult group bookings for Grand Prix experiences.

Aerial view of the GYG karting race track

Darwin Escapes has 4 beautiful locations in North Wales, each offering seaside holidays and holiday home ownership along the North Wales coastline. We will have something for everyone in this wonderful region of the country!

The exclusive Darwin Escapes 10% discount applies to the Arrive & Drive experience only. Use the code ‘darwin’ when booking your session online via their website.

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Dundonald Links which has been three times host of Aberdeen Standard Investments Ladies Scottish Open and Scottish Open venue has recently been named a finalist in the 2020 Golf Environment Awards.

The Golf Environment Awards (GEA) are administered by STRI the world leading sport surface research and consultancy organisation. The Golf Environment Awards are now in their 25th year and give recognition to Ecological and Environmental best practice within the UK golfing industry.

Dundonald Links Golf Club Manager Ian Ferguson said: “The awards are seen through the Golfing industry as the pinnacle of environmental excellence and achievement.

“I am extremely proud that Dundonald Links has been named in the Project of the Year category. The team have earned their place on the finalist list with their vision, and enthusiasm for working in collaboration with fellow golf clubs, wildlife groups and neighbouring businesses creating our Nectar Network”.

The Nectar Network, originally set up by Dundonald Links, is now a working partnership steered by the golf club and the Scottish Wildlife Trust.

40 other local golf courses, and businesses stretching the length of the Ayrshire coastline from Irvine to Girvan are also part of The Nectar Network.

The group came together to share ideas, implementation and policies, before turning its focus to conservation. Initially the aim was to re-introduce the small blue butterfly, UK’s smallest butterfly, which was last seen in Ayrshire in 1982. It has since become the flagship species for the project, as habitat fragmentation and loss of its primary food source led to its extinction in the area.

The overall aim of the Nectar Network is to link Ayrshire’s most important local wildlife sites, often by improving the quality of degraded land, in order to help pollinating insects colonise new areas. The project has provided opportunities for all involved to learn new skills that help them take ownership of protecting and enhancing the local environment.

Bob Taylor, Head of Ecology & Environment STRI said: “Golf clubs represent more than the sport, they provide places for nature and people, the management of our golf courses enables clubs to secure a place within our diminishing countryside.”

Notes to Editors
Dundonald Links based in Ayrshire in Scotland has hosted a wide range of prestigious golfing events including the Aberdeen Standard investments Scottish Opens in 2017 was purchased by Darwin Escapes in 2019. For further information about Dundonald follow them on Twitter or Facebook: @DundonaldLinks

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Get your dancing shoes on and get ready to sass the night away because Priscilla Queen of the Desert is in town…

Priscilla Queen of the Desert bounced into the Rhyl Pavilion last night, packed full of sass and Drag Queens galore with the whole ensemble putting on one magnificent performance of lip syncs, pirouettes and bold characters.

Priscilla queen of the desert cast posing for a photo

Many of you may have seen the film (believe it or not it’s been around since 1994!!) or heard of the production which featured Jason Donovan taking on one of the lead roles. However, for this production he’s taken the role of producer and handed the baton on to Strictly Come Dancing 2017 winner Joe McFadden who played a superb role as Tick/Mitzi.

He was joined by Miles Western who played transgender Bernadette and Nick Hayes who played Adam/Felicia, who for me stole the show in his Venus scene and trust me his ‘Kylie’ scene towards the end was one of my favourites.

Photo of Nick Hayes in Priscilla Queen of Desert

The music in this production is beyond fabulous, with songs such as Hot Stuff, I Will Survive, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun and I Say A Little Prayer what more could you want from this flamboyant, show stopping-production. A special mention also has to go to the three Diva’s, Rosie Glossop, Claudia Kariuki and Aiesha Pease – their voices really packed the punch.

Photo of divas singing Priscilla Queen of the Desert

Not only were there fabulous costumes, a disco soundtrack sent from the gods and plenty of raw emotion, Priscilla Queen of the Desert really did pack a disco glitter ball punch with audiences.

Yes there were a couple of hiccups in last night’s show but it’s to be expected when the staging is so intricate. One foot in the wrong place could send the whole stage into commotion. Part of the set and the story line is a bus, which when turned became a dressing room and a bar. It could then be split into sections – all very quickly with simple moves that didn’t disrupt the rest of performance.

You can always tell a lot by a show, in my experience of visiting theatres and seeing productions, by how quickly an audience gets on its feet at the end. And last night, as soon as the final scene cut and the curtain dropped ready for the finale, audiences were on their feet, singing along, dancing the aisles and personally I was clapping until my hands were sore.

Three cast members of the Priscilla Queen of the Desert posing for a photo

Over the years I’ve heard so much about Priscilla Queen of the Desert, without ever really knowing what I was letting myself in for when I entered Rhyl Pavilion’s theatre last night. I knew it was set in Australia, and centred on some fabulous drag queens and also that it had become a bit of a world-wide phenomenon amongst the theatre world but I was not expecting the show-stopping set to cover so many hard-hitting topics whilst also leaving its audience in fits of laughter.

Trust me, whether you’re after a good night out, searching for some laughter with great music, or you just love musicals, you need to go and see Priscilla. It’s a feel-good production and will make you feel alive from the first scene.

You haven’t got long to see this show-stopper so don’t delay getting tickets as this show is sure to be a sell out!

Catch Priscilla Queen of the Desert at Rhyl Pavilion until Saturday 28th September. Book your tickets today via the Rhyl Pavilion website or give their Box Office a call on 01745 330000.

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Start your New Year off with a bang thanks to Venue Cymru’s line up of productions. If you’re in North Wales during the winter months then a visit to Llandudno should be fitted into your plans. There are plenty of fabulous show-stopping productions, comedy and music coming to the seaside coastal theatre Venue Cymru in 2020.

So if you’re wondering what’s available to see this winter, then look no further! We’ve put together our top picks for the season so you’ve got a wide range to choose from….

take part 2020

11th and 12th January 2020

A day packed full of family fun returns in the form of take pART! With 2 days filled with over 300 workshops, talks and performances, this arts and literature event is a great day out for the whole family.

Ticket prices vary. Please see Venue Cymru website for more details

curtains the musical

4th February 2020

A murder mystery with a twist is coming to Venue Cymru in 2020. The new Tony award winning musical Curtain’s starring comedian and actor Jason Manford as Frank Coiffi is a musical production and the every cast and crew member are suspects.

Tickets from £28

fisherman’s friends

13th February 2020

You may have heard of the group Fisherman’s Friends after a movie was released about them early last year. The singing seamen have become the first ever traditional folk group to make their way into the Top 10 album charts. Get ready to sing along to a wealth of shanty songs…

Tickets: £26.50

welsh national opera

4th to 7th March 2020

Three operas will be on stage at Venue Cymru during March so for the opera fans among us, don’t miss your chance to see The Marriage of Figaro, Les vepres siciliennes and Carmen. There are also pre-performance talks available to give you all the information you need to enjoy the full experience.

Ticket prices vary and discounts available if more than one opera is booked

we will rock you

9th to 14th March 2020

Yes, that’s right! The worldwide hit musical by Queen and Ben Elton will set up home in Venue Cymru for one week only, as part of a UK tour. Get ready to experience 24 of Queen’s greatest hits including Bohemian Rhapsody, We Will Rock You and Don’t Stop Me Now. The perfect night out for any Queen fan!

Tickets from £21.50

ben fogle – tales from the wilderness

18th March 2020

Ben Fogle will be delighting audiences with thrilling tales of his adventures, such as conquering Everest, being able to swim with crocodiles and avoiding pirates. This is not one to miss if you’re a fan of the explorer!

Tickets: £28

Don’t forget these are just our top picks of shows you won’t want to miss at the seaside theatre this season. If none of these take your fancy just head over to the Venue Cymru website where you’ll find a wide range of shows to choose from!

Book your tickets to see any of the above shows by simply phoning the Venue Cymru Box Office on 01492 872000 or just visit the Venue Cymru website.

Have the best time theatre lovers!

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Music, comedy and seasonal shows complete the line-up for Rhyl Pavilion’s Winter shows. The winter months are the perfect time to take advantage of the dark nights and cheer up the blues by heading to the theatre!

So whether you’re looking for a last minute Christmas gift for the theatre-lover in your life or looking to find a laugh-a-minute show packed full of entertainment – Rhyl Pavilion is sure to have something to suit.

We’ve put together our top picks of this seasons shows. Keep reading to take a peek at what’s coming up at the Rhyl Pavilion for Winter 2018/19…

puccini madama butterfly

When: 15th February 2020

The award-winning opera, Puccini Madama Butterfly, is heading to the Rhyl Pavilion in 2020. The opera tells the story of a beautiful young Japanese girl who falls in love with an American naval lieutenant and this has dramatic consequences. This production promises stunning sets and traditional vintage Japanese costumes.

Tickets from £26.50


When: 20th February 2020

This brand new musical based on the classic fairytale Rapunzel is heading on a Spring 2020 UK tour. It’s said to be perfect for the whole family, with plenty of laugh out loud jokes, catchy tunes and the opportunity for audience interaction.

Tickets: £14 for adults, £10 for children

dance to the music

When: 21st February 2020

A new dance show choreographed and created by former Strictly Come Dancing professional Kristina Rihanoff and starring X Factor’s Jake Quickenden as the host will be visiting Rhyl Pavilion on February 21st. There will be over 15 styles of dance performed and will be a great family friendly watch. Grab your dancing partner and book your seats!

Tickets: £29

menopause the musical 2

When: 6th March 2020

The brand new follow on to Menopause the Musical, Cruising Through Menopause, goes forward 5 years to see where the group of four friends are now. Starring Cheryl Fergison best known for her role in EastEnders, Nicole Barber-Lane of Hollyoaks, Rebecca Wheatley of Casualty, and Nicki French of Eurovision, the night promises to provide plenty of laughs.

Tickets: £34.50

magic of motown

When: 7th March 2020

Celebrate the sounds of Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder, The Supremes and so many more with the Magic of Motown. There will be a total of 40 back to back hits, perfect for anyone who loves the sound of Motown!

Tickets: £27

the carpenters

When: 20th March 2020

Featuring all of the best Carpernters hits such as (They Long To Be) Close To You, Yesterday Once More, We’ve Only Just Begun and so much more, you’ll be in for a treat for the ears if you choose to book tickets for this brand new for 2020 show.

Tickets from £27.50

There are plenty more shows available at the Rhyl Pavilion this Winter, so if our top pick of shows don’t take your fancy make sure to head over to their website to choose from their jam-packed line up of shows!

To book tickets to any of the above shows then head on over to the Rhyl Pavilion website for further details on prices and ticket availability. Alternatively you can give the Box Office a call on 01745 330000.

Have a fabulous time fellow theatre lovers!

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The festive season is well underway at Venue Cymru as the seasonal production of Sleeping Beauty launches…

For me, the countdown to Christmas Day starts the moment I’ve had my annual visit to a pantomime. It’s an environment where I can boo, hiss, laugh and shout to my hearts content and it’s actually quite cathartic (I’d highly recommend it!).

This year sees Qdos Pantomimes bring the magical story of Sleeping Beauty to the coastal town of Llandudno. This year’s production stars Loose Women and Benidorm star Sherrie Hewson as Nurse Temple Savage, Nigel Ellacott as the wonderful Queen Myfanwy and Kieran Powell as everyone’s favourite Jester, Muddles.

The atmosphere was full of excitement as the audience filled into the auditorium and the curtain lifted, ready for two and a half hours of fun, laughter and sillyness and this pantomime had that in bucket loads.

Personally Sleeping Beauty isn’t my favourite out of the pantomime storylines, nevertheless, I thoroughly enjoyed the traditional ‘twelve days of Christmas song’, Queen Myfanwy’s outrageous (yet very clever!) costumes and the frequent mishaps throughout the performance which is the essence of every great pantomime.

For me one of the stand out performances of the night came from Kieran Powell, his ventriloquism skills were fantastic and one of my favourite moments was when he asked a member of the audience on stage to be part of a segment of the show. He played the character Muddles superbly and by the end of the show audiences were totally invested in him and also the magical element of the puppets! (No spoilers here but it is very magical!!!).

Special mention has to go to Jamie Birkett who played the role of Carabosse the Wicked Fairy, honestly one of the best evil characters I’ve seen for a long time. The staging was also so eye-catching and mesmerising and some great (quite big!!) surprises along the way too!

Sleeping Beauty is at Venue Cymru until 29th December with both matinee and evening performances available on selected days. For more information please visit the website. or call the Box Office on 01492 872000.

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Minister FM heads to Pocklington holiday resort for this year’s Firework spectacular

Popular Yorkshire radio station Minister FM is set to host the 2019 fireworks evening at the Kilnwick Percy Resort & Golf Club.

The evening of entertainment will take place on Sunday 3rd November with gates opening at 5pm and the firework display starting at 7.30pm.

Minster FM’s David Green will be hosting with live music from Harrogate’s Leon Marshall, Harry Collins Swing Vocalist, Atlantic 45, KAYA Band and Emma Roberts.

There will also be balloon magic, Yorkshire Gin Company, Hooting Owl Distillery and The Hobby Horse will be providing cakes and various beverages.

General Manager of the Kilnwick Percy Resort & Golf Club, Daniel Littlewood said: “We are excited to have Minster FM and their Roadshow host at our biggest and best ever annual firework spectacular this year!

“You can expect singers, dancers and bands to entertain you throughout the evening along with fairground rides, stalls, games and much more!

“All ticket holders receive a free burger or hot dog before the evening ends with a huge firework display choreographed to music with this year’s secret theme sure to please all generations!

“This really is a night not to be missed!”

A charity raffle will also be held on the evening at just £5 a ticket for a chance to win a night in the resort’s Huxtable Suite. All proceeds will be split between the Kilnwick Percy captain’s charities, the Alzheimer’s Society and The British Heart Foundation.

Sponsorship, Promotions & Events Manager, Laura Harland said: “Minster FM are very proud to be hosting a special roadshow at the The Kilnwick Percy Fireworks, for the very first time we will be bringing on stage fun and live music hosted by Minster FM’s David Green. There will be chances to win prizes and enjoy live music from local artists too.”

General Admision tickets are £10 for adults and £5 for children including one hot dog or burger per ticket. Family admission tickets are also available for £25 for 2 adults and 2 children.

A full VIP experience costs £25 and includes prime viewing, a two course meal with tea and coffee, help yourself sweetie cart and preferential parking.

Limited tickets for the event are available and can be booked by phoning the Kilnwick Percy Resort & Golf Club on 01759 303090.

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