On Tour - an insider's view

Simon Smith blog

Simon Smith has been arranging tours with us for many years and most recently worked with us on a wonderful weekend tour to Keukenhof Gardens and Delft. We asked him to reveal the essential ingredients of a great tour.


The most important thing is a good itinerary. It has to capture people’s imagination and get them out and about. The Netherlands tour was only three days, but we did so much – we had a whole afternoon at the magical Keukenhof gardens, we saw the bulb fields and we had free time to potter around in Delft, Zeist and Bruges too. I really enjoyed just sitting in the spring sunshine on a café barge covered with daffodils in Delft. Even the coach journeys were made part of the programme, thanks to the brilliant tour manager who told us the history of everywhere we passed.

Barge cafe in Delft

A decent hotel with a good choice of food is crucial too. We stayed at Theatre Figi, a lovely, family run hotel in a pretty square in Zeist. We had delicious group dinners there both nights.

The third essential ingredient is good organisation. If everyone knows where they’re going and what they’re doing then they can relax and enjoy themselves. And details like giving everyone a map of the places they’re visiting makes a real difference too.

And finally sunshine. We were really lucky on the last tour, someone at ECT must have done a weather dance for us!


If Simon's post has whetted your appetite, take a look at our Keukenhof spring tour for 2019 here