5 Amazing and Fun Things You Must Do When You Visit Manchester UK

int2009-1-lst116172Manchester is such a great city and whether you are here for business or pleasure, there is a lot you can do and see. In this article we are going to look at top five things to do in Manchester UK. These are things that will remain engraved in your mind forever. The culture, food, and history in Manchester are simply amazing and in fact, here are five things you must do when you visit the city. Continue reading


Why you MUST visit Manchester this Christmas!


It has been said that the spirit of Christmas is the spirit of love, generosity and goodness. In this spirit, every year, millions of people gather together around the world in celebration. But we truly take it to a new level in Manchester! Put us at the top of your to-do list this holiday season,and you won’t be disappointed. Here are just a few of the fantastic Holiday celebrations we have going on this year;  Continue reading


4 Charity Events Than Can Be Found Around The UK

Charity is believed to be a kind of blessing that you receive whenever you help the needy. This kind of deed provides a certain degree of inner satisfaction as well as to help others that are in need. Fundraising is an integral objective of charity and as such, charitable organisations raise funds in various ways such as grants, donations, charity events and fundraising events. Let’s take a look at 4 different charity events around the UK. Continue reading




Teamwork is one of the most important factors that contribute to the success of businesses and all other institutions. The ability to work together towards a common goal makes everyone’s experience at the work place not only productive but also a whole lot more enjoyable. It is a rare occurrence to find people from different backgrounds and with different personalities getting along and working as a team from the very beginning. This makes it important to invest time and other resources in team building activities that help each member of the team know their role and how they can be useful to the institution. Below are the top five best team-building activities available in Manchester.

  1. Out of Office Olympics

More often than not, when people think of outdoor activities the first thing that comes to mind is sports. The Out of Office Olympics is actually a lot like the actual Olympics where the groups that are interested in the exercise are given a chance to participate in different events including races, javelin throwing, high jumps and so much more. It is an exhilarating and fun-packed outdoor exercise that will have all the members of the team unwinding and enjoying themselves in no time. The main aim of this activity is to instil the spirit of union and cooperation among the team members where they have to work together to beat the opposing team. It is also a great way to identify natural leaders and faithful followers.

  1. Countryside themed Sports

Despite also being a sports based outdoor event, countryside games differ greatly from out of office activities. The sports here include things like archery, Segway’s, falconry, dog handling and so much more. This team building activity works on an incentive based principle where individuals are encouraged to do their best for the sake of the team. Unlike other activities that are solely focused on the team as a single unit, this one shows how each and every member’s contribution plays a great role in overall success.

  1. Treasure Hunts

Everyone loves a good treasure hunt. This makes it one of the most popular team building activities in Manchester. Different retreat and recreational centers have different types of treasure hunts with an example being The GPS Treasure quest. This particular exercise helps the team to develop the ability to work together and follow instructions without disagreement with the aim of achieving their set goal. It is also an incentive driven exercise, which encourages the group to work harder together.

  1. Intelligence and Law enforcement role-playing

Some outdoor activities such as the royal heist as well as Spy School enable the group members to assume the roles of intelligence and police officers with the aim of solving a given mystery. Thus outdoor team building exercise helps mainly by promoting group creativity and decision making which are skills fundamental to successful teamwork. This means that the members of the team learn how to listen to and accommodate other people’s opinions both at work and life in general.

  1. Team building obstacle course

Most obstacle courses designed for team building have the no man left behind’ rule. This means that a team cannot truly be considered the winner simply by getting to the finish line first especially of there are some members that have been left behind. This is a great activity that helps group members learn how to think about other people other than just themselves. It also serves as a way to teach less gifted members of the group to work extra hard not to be the weak link that lets the team down.

Bottom line

Whether it is for a corporate marketing group or a high school sports team, team-building exercises are without doubt an absolute necessity. The five named above are what many have used and found to be very effective. Therefore, if you happen to have a group you would like working in synchrony, you should definitely give at least one of them a try.


Why you MUST visit Manchester this Summer!

Manchester International Festival www.artscouncil.org.uk Everyone loves the summer; we love Manchester, that’s why we think everyone should visit Manchester this summer… We believe that the next few weeks bring some fantastic events to Manchester and the surrounding areas, here are just a few we have picked out: Spring Festival of Markets When? Thursday 21st May till Sunday 7th June Where? St. Ann’s Square, M2 7HQ What time? 10.00-17.30 How much? Free I suppose you’re wondering why this is featured if the festival is called “Spring Festival of Market” well despite this festival being in Spring, we think that you should definitely make an appearance here. If you would consider yourself as a bit of a shopper, then these markets should be wonderful for you and your friends, this festival gives you the perfect opportunity to engage with the artisans and makers of the jewellery, clothing and even homewares! Also this event would be the perfect destination to grab yourself some lunch, with a fine collection of artisan foods from local chefs and even 3 themed bars, we would definitely recommend visiting if you are looking to enjoy fantastic cuisine and drink in the fresh air. Patio chairs, picket fencing and full of flowers, St Ann’s Square has to be your number one choice for meeting with your friends, shopping with the children and grabbing some food, don’t miss out! Manchester Day When? Sunday 14th June Where? City Centre What time? 12.00-18.00 How much? Free Yet again, this event isn’t officially in the summer, but… Each year, Manchester Day is great… but Manchester Day 2015 has the potential to be bigger and better than ever! An action packed parade for residents, tourists and even families; Manchester Day celebrates what is really great about the City. I can guarantee that every single one of Manchester’s city centre’s squares will be buzzing, so make sure you do not miss out on this event! For more information visit: manchesterday.co.uk Manchester International Festival When? Thursday 2nd July till Sunday 19th July Where? Visit: MIF for more information regarding venues What time? Visit: MIF for more information regarding times How much? Visit: MIF for more information regarding price It’s fantastic that Manchester is the home of the world’s first festival of original, new work and special events, and I would definitely recommend this for all ages, because there really is something for everybody! This festival will surely live up to expectations and will be a fantastic 17 days! “Manchester is probably the most radical and important arts festival today.” The New Yorker, July 2013. If you are going to be visiting Manchester for any of these events, you should check out Hallmark Hotels Special Offers. Image from: http://www.artscouncil.org.uk


Christmas at Hallmark


If you are thinking of taking a short weekend break down to Bournemouth, we have a very special offer for a 2-night spa spectacular for only £130. This includes full use of the health club and spa facilities and a 1-hour treatment each. You can choose between a Swedish full body massage, a dermalogica facial, a luxury manicure or a luxury pedicure. Click here for full details.

There is also an array of Christmas activities happening in Bournemouth in the run up to Christmas. One event going in to its second year now is the Gardens of Light Festival. The festival won two awards last year for its lighting design and for the exhibition as a whole. This truly is something spectacular and unique to Bournemouth over the festive period. You can find out a bit more about it here.


At our Carlisle hotel, we are offering you the opportunity to do some shopping away from your usual high street and to indulge in a shopping experience with your own personal shopper. Once you return to the hotel, you get to relax and enjoy a 3-course brasserie dinner with a glass of sparkling wine.

If shopping isn’t your thing however, fear not. We also have a cultural package available for a 2-night break in Carlisle. The package gives you admission to Carlisle castle for the day on top of 2 nights accommodation a 3-course brasserie dinner each evening. For full details on how to book click here.


Christmas is always huge in London and if we were to list everything going on, well, we’d probably still be writing this after Christmas!! Anyway, the first event we have chosen is in Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park.  This festival boasts pretty much everything you could want for a family day or evening out in London. Whether that is Christmas markets, ice skating, rides or Santa’s grotto you will find what you are looking for here!


We currently have some excellent offers on at our Derby hotel. The first package that we are offering is the Derby Dine Away. Over 2 nights you will have the pleasure of eating at the award winning Anoki Indian restaurant on the first night. Here you will sample a wide variety of Indian food. On the second night you will be treated to a 3-course brasserie dinner at the hotel. A perfect way to end your stay by unwinding and being completely relaxed. Click here to book now.

We are also offering a shopping break. This package is for two nights and we will give you a £20 voucher to spend in the InTu shopping centre right here in Derby. Click here for more information.


At our Gloucester hotel we are currently offering a special 2 night pamper break. Come and enjoy a well-deserved relaxing break. You will have access to the extensive health club and spa we have here in Gloucester. You can also choose one of the following 25-minute treatments. A back, neck & shoulder massage; mini manicure; mini pedicure; bright eye rescue treatment. For full information and on how to book please click here.


Hull has plenty of stuff going on over the festive period. Lots of family fun activities, one of our favourites is “The Deep”.  This is really one the younger kids will enjoy, as they will get to see Santa and participate in making festive ornaments, calendars and badges during the day. For the adults there is also an art exhibition showcasing images and videos from the Galapagos Islands.


Manchester can boast one of the best Christmas markets in the country which food and drink from around Europe. On top of what you can usually expect from a Christmas market, Manchester has added something a little different this year. Inside the Manchester town Hall you can find a wide range of independent stalls from shops located in Afflecks palace. Here you will find a range of alternative clothing, hand crafted jewellery, retro and American confectionary and many more hidden gems.