Tuesday, 24 April 2012 3:17 PM
To celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, we’ve picked out our top royal-themed holiday ideas, from the Treetop Lodge in Kenya, where Princess Elizabeth first learnt that she was to become Queen, to The Bahamas, where Prince Harry recently visited as part of his Diamond Jubilee tour:
In February of 1952 a 25-year old Princess Elizabeth travelled to Kenya as part of a Commonwealth tour. The trip would prove to be life changing when five days later, upon receiving news of her father’s death, she found out that she was to succeed to the throne. She was staying at Treetops Lodge in Aberdare National Park (now run by Aberdare Safari Hotels) and overnight it became the world’s most famous tree house, beginning of a royal love affair with Africa. The lodge is now undergoing a six-month refurbishment with its doors due to reopen on April 1st 2012. The refurbishment aims to restore the history and romance of Treetops by improving guest facilities and services while retaining its charm.
In celebration of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee year, what better way to get involved in the celebrations than to holiday in the footsteps of the Royal Family? Glen Tanar Estate is just a stone’s throw from Balmoral, a favourite holiday hideaway of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh. But Glen Tanar’s links to the Royal Family go much further back, with many of the footpaths and bridleways around the estate often walked by Queen Victoria. You’ll even find the Queen’s Well, which has been erected in the spot where they rested after riding from Deeside.
The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh will also be staying at the Palace of Holyrood House in Edinburgh, during Holyrood Week (July 2nd-6th) which features events celebrating Scottish culture and achievement. You can enjoy a luxury stay in the city at the elegant, award-winning, Grade II Listed George Hotel with Great Little Breaks, from £52 per person for an overnight stay (two sharing including full Scottish breakfast, strawberries and chocolates on arrival and a glass of champagne per guest) to enjoy the celebrations.
(photo: by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Canada was in the royal-watchers’ spotlight last year with their much-publicised tour of the country. You can celebrate Her Majesty’s milestone anniversary with your own journey of a lifetime, taking in The Very Best of Western Canada. This 18-day escorted tour with Ffestiniog Travel encompasses all the region’s spectacular natural wonders as well as the chance to ride Canada’s iconic Rocky Mountaineer train. Departing June 18th, it costs £4,695 per person (two sharing) including flights (Vancouver), all rail journeys and transfers, RedLeaf accommodation on the Rocky Mountaineer (upgrades available, additional cost), hotel accommodation on a room-only basis, some meals, excursions and a tour leader throughout.
The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh lived in Malta on and off for two years at the start of their married life between 1949 and 1951 and Queen Elizabeth is known to retain deeply fond memories of the time the pair spent on Malta, out of Britain and away from the media glare in the years before she inherited the throne aged 25 in 1952. They then returned in 2007 for their diamond wedding anniversary. You might not have caught them sea kayaking or rock climbing, but these are all on the cards on an Activities Abroad family holiday to Malta. There’s also a boat trip around Gozo, plus the chance to try Mini B-diving (simplified scuba-diving). Stay in a converted 350-year-old farmhouse on Gozo with swimming pools, a games room and a Jacuzzi. Departing July and August, this trip costs from £1,435 per adult and £1,295 per child (ages 8-12) – based on a child sharing with two adults – including flights (London), transfers, seven nights’ B&B, eight other meals, activities, equipment and fully-qualified instructors.
Earlier this year, Prince Harry visited The Bahamas as part of a Diamond Jubilee tour. You can follow in his footsteps and hole up at the boutique Compass Point hotel. Close to the Nassau, it comprises 18 brightly-coloured studio huts, all fully-equipped with mod cons, plus a fine restaurant. You might want to bring a partner, too; Compass Point has direct access to the promising-sounding Love Beach! A week this summer costs from £1,546 per person including flights (London), transfers and seven nights’ B&B (two sharing) with Holidays Please.
Follow us @travelbite