Panoptic Event’s Ramy James Salameh checked out Bath & Bristol for MICE and came away totally inspired, strap yourself in and read on to find out the top 10 Incentives and hotels in Bath and Bristol…
For clients looking to take their meetings & events outside of London, but still within 1.5 hour radius, then set your compass to visitwest.co.uk for a twin-centre experience spread across Bath & Bristol. Located just 12-minutes apart by train, the two destinations are uniquely distinct, offering many wonderfully different qualities and characteristics. The former is an UNESCO World heritage city and as quintessentially English as is possible to get, (think Bridgerton, filmed in the city) with period Georgian architecture around every corner and surrounded by nature. Bath is world-famous for its thermal waters, which have been enjoyed since before the Romans arrived. Add in ’boutique’ shops, hotels and cosy parks, and it becomes a super attractive proposition.
Bristol is a young, creative and innovative city, with a multitude of multi-nationals and major global firms calling it their home. It has a very strong urban culture that has produced the likes of world-famous street artist ‘Banksy’. Bristolians are known for their quirkiness, accents, irreverence and fun nature and they want you to experience their thriving culture, first-rate nightlife and proximity to the great outdoors.
Top 10 Incentives in Bath & Bristol
1. Roman Baths & Pump Room (Bath)
It is impossible to come to Bath and not experience their famous thermal waters, and even more unthinkable not to tick-off the bucket list the Roman Baths, followed by high tea in the Pump Room. This UNESCO heritage site can be hired out for a diverse range of events including a drinks reception beside the Roman colonnades, before moving to the exquisitely elegant ‘Pump Room’ for a Gala dinner. There can be few places that can present such outstanding options in such an iconic venue, which combines 2000 years of history, part of the city’s UNESCO world heritage status and the neo-classical architecture in the form of the Pump Room Restaurant, all on the one footprint and all for hire.
2. The Conrad hotel
Looking for an experiential incentive that lets your group take home a souvenir they have created, then ‘BathAquaGlass’ ticks all the boxes. Bath is famous for its blue glass which features in the stain glass of Bath Abbey. The ‘BAUBLE MAKING’ experience takes place at the wonderful Theatre of Glass, their Studio & Factory Shop located on Walcot Street. Personally created baubles will be hand signed with ‘Bath’ with the year.
3. Tour of locations for Bath’s Bridgerton Netflix series
Want to have a group incentive that keeps people on their toes and healthy, then consider arranging a private guided tour of Bath’s filming locations of Netflix’s hit show ‘Bridgerton’ on an immersive walking tour around Bath, which includes headphones to showcase the music and sounds used in the series.
4. Star-Gazing atop Bath Abbey with Astronomers
This magnificent Abbey is truly awe-inspiring even if you just have a tour or even take a meeting in one of their state-of-the-art meeting rooms in the remodelled crypt. Fan vaulted ceilings, honey gold walls and stunning stain glass windows, pour colour into this historic edifice, which has been around in its present form since medieval times. Why not add another dimension with a unique incentive of star gazing tours led by Bath Astronomers. So climb the tower for some moon and star gazing
5. Climb the rigging/mast of Brunel’s SS Great Britain (Bristol)
If you want to test whether your colleagues have a head for heights then challenge them to climbing the ship’s rigging to a mast platform, and then out along the main yard of ‘Brunel’s SS Great Britain’. Now a museum ship (do not call it a boat, Bristolians will get red with rage) designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, it once carried a huge cargo of coal to San Francisco, sailed around the world 33 times and when launched from her dry dock in Bristol was the largest ship in the world. Once the rigging has been conquered, go below deck for a sit down meal or drinks reception or even below (sea level) the ‘glass sea’, to view the hull from this unique perspective. This is Bristol’s number 1 visitor attraction and another fine Bristolian venue to consider.
6. Check-in for boarding on Concorde at Aerospace Bristol
One of the UK’s ultimate gala dinner venues. Imagine dining underneath the body and wings of ‘Concorde’, alongside 550 other guests which is the capacity of the venue for a seated dinner. This is not just any Concorde, but the last Concorde to ever fly alongside exhibits charting aviation history. Concord; visitors have a chance to step inside the aircraft, a rare episode in itself. Concorde is a magnificent piece of aerospace engineering, housed within its own hanger, incorporating a museum and smaller meeting spaces, including a lecture-style theatre, so plenty of options for every event/ meeting. If you are looking to ‘WOW’ your guests, then this is the place to do it.
7. The Wave, Bristol’s inland surf destination
Follow in the footsteps of ‘Wave’ clients, such as the Premier League, who recently used it as a corporate weekend away. This surfing lake fans out across beautiful parkland, combining technology, nature and wellbeing. Let your group have a meeting in dedicated onsite spaces, before donning a wet suit and learning to surf on this man-made outdoor wave facility. Groups can stay onsite at ‘The Camp’, which is a very comfortable glamping experience; 25 tents for up to 8 people each complete with a kitchenette and wood-burner.
8. St Nicholas Night Market
Give your group a culinary and acoustic surprise at St Nick’s Night Market, spread around the Glass Arcade, Corn Exchange and Corn Street. This happens four times a year in the very heart of the city and is an incentive which touches all the senses; street vendors, musicians and an array of performers delight a thronging crowd. Whilst exploring an eclectic mix of cuisines, fabulously presented across the cobbles, why not make it extra-special and drop into the Harbour Hotel for some famous cocktails in their design-led and chic bar area.
9. Boating & Paddle Boarding on the River Avon
For those groups who like to relax with a drink and take in the sites of Bristol Harbour then step aboard the glass-roofed ‘Bristol Packet Boat’. It can also be your private mode of transport between city centre hotels and the historic SS Great Britain, a wonderfully historic and atmospheric gala dinner or cocktail reception venue. Alternatively, why not view Bristol from a totally new perspective and go paddle boarding through the city’s historic waterways. There are few better ways to bond, challenge or reward your team with one of the UK’s fastest growing water sports!
10. Bristol Beacon, hub for the City’s music industry
By 2023 the Bristol Beacon will offer a main concert hall with around 1750 seats, part of three international standard performance spaces and a National Centre for music performance, education and enterprise. This venue will support major events in the city whilst supporting the cultural future of Bristol, by providing the city and South West with a world-class concert venue, but also a boost to the types of association and congress business attracted to the city.
Hotels Visited by Panoptic Events
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