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Review: Shearings Coach Trip to Exmouth

Escorted Tour - Coach

Exmouth , United Kingdom

A 12 hour marathon (The first day)

  • By SilverTraveller Riversiderouge

    61 reviews

    Ribbon Ribbon Ribbon

  • October 2017
  • Wife

13 people found this review helpful

Coach holidays are very popular with my age group, apparently. My wife and I have been on three in the last 8 years.

The first was to Torquay with a company called Durham Coaches. We swore we would never go on another one after that. But we did!

The second went to the far north of Scotland with Shearings, and we swore that we would never ever go on one after that. But we did.

Last week we went back to Devon with Shearings, and we have sworn that we will never, never, ever go on a coach holiday ever again. Trust me. Over my dead body, we definitely will NOT!

Don’t get me wrong. Shearings Coaches are top of the range Mercedes Benz which are very comfortable, and logistically it is difficult, from a commercial point of view, to pick holes in the way they transport customers from different spokes, known as towns and cities to a central hub, which for us was a place called Normanton, just south of Leeds.

From the point of view of customers however, it is far from a pleasant experience. It’s a marathon.

Our outward journey to Exmouth began with a taxi ride to Bishop Auckland Bus Station in County Durham to meet Shearing’s shuttle bus at 7.00 a.m. Some of the passengers had boarded the shuttle at 5.30 a.m. in Newcastle. Two hours later, via a detour to Darlington, we arrived on schedule at the Normanton Interchange in the middle of an industrial estate.

This interchange building is purpose built along the lines of an airport lounge with a cafe, toilets, vending machines and newspaper sales. It even has a departures board which lists about 25 different destinations, all leaving at 10.30 a.m. which of course is impossible, as they cannot depart until all the shuttle buses have shed their loads.

We eventually got underway again, almost two hours after arriving in Normanton, for the long journey ahead. That’s 4 hours after leaving home, and we are just an hour’s car journey down the road.

After picking up a couple more passengers south of Sheffield, our one and only refreshment stop was a Garden Centre, cum Cafe, cum Christmas Grotto, just off the M5 south of Gloucester.

All 36 passengers alighted the coach quicker than a bullet from a gun to seek out the toilets, before spending the best part of a thousand pennies on coffee and cake.

The prices for goods in this place were a bit rich for me, and I would love to know what incentives the coach companies or drivers receive for dropping us off in a place like this, or maybe it’s just me being cynical. Why else did I witness our driver sign a book to register the number of potential customers he had just dropped off? The reason he gave us all for choosing this stop rather than the more obvious Gloucester Motorway Services was that it would take longer to serve us all! ………. Right!

We eventually arrived at our Hotel on the mouth of the River Exe at 5 O’clock. A journey lasting more than 10 hours, or in the case of our friends from Tyneside, almost 12 hours.

The Grand Hotel in Exmouth? Well that’s another story to tell.

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This review is solely based on the opinion of a Silver Travel Advisor member and not of Silver Travel Advisor Ltd.

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Other Members' Thoughts - 2 Comment(s)

  • PamWNorth
    almost 2 years ago
    Gosh what an ordeal. I live in the North East too and I dont think I could have coped well with such a lengthy journey without sufficient breaks. It is some time ago we visited the lovely area that the Shearings tour included but we travelled by train from the North East (Cross Country Service) direct to I believe Dawlish or perhaps to Exeter then a local train to Dawlish. We used the local public transport both rain and bus around the area and we found it to be good.
  • DRSask
    almost 2 years ago
    I too have been on some of these long, arduous trips and with Shearings. I feel your pain. Not that I haven't enjoyed the locations such as the Highlands of Scotland. However, now I'm more likely to catch a train and go to one location for a week or so and use local transportation to get around.