Excel Activity Group is a nationwide activity provider offering a wide range of exciting options for all sorts of groups – corporate team buildings, hen and stag parties, activities for kids and adults. With over 1000 events under their belt, you’ll find their staff to be highly experienced and friendly, providing you and your guests with a day that will make you smile for years to come.
Excel activity provider offers events such as Goggle or Bubble Football, Olympic Shames, Bubble Mayhen, Archery Tag, Foot Golf, Football Darts, Nerf Parties, Old School Sports days, DodgeBall, Sumo, Dance Experience, Cocktail Making etc. to be hosted onsite at your Party House. They even offer It’s a Knockout and Total Wipeout but these two are location-based and can be done in larger cities across the UK.
Our Party Houses guests are always interested in having onsite activities during their stay to make it extra special. Which is why we love promoting Excel Activity Group, which offers a great range of activities to our guests. Whether you’re looking for a full on competitive sports day or a laid back day filled with laughter, the Excel Activity Group will adapt your favourite activity to your preferences.
What can I win?
Excel Activity Group is offering a FREE ACTIVITY for up to 20 people for anyone who applies! You can choose between:
Old School Sports Day,
Sumo, Goggle Football,
Whether you’re planning a big get-together, hosting a celebration, having a hen party or stag do, having a break from the busy life at a Party House, or are simply looking for a fun activity with your friends, everyone is welcome to join the competition.
How do I apply?
It’s very simple! All you have to do is to like the Party Houses and Excel Activity Group Facebook pages and tag 2 friends that you’d love to enjoy an activity with on any of our Facebook posts. We’ll choose the winner at the beginning of February 2019!
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Win a £70 Voucher for Indian Food in the Midlands with Maazi
Do you enjoy Indian food? Most of us in the UK love it, making it so popular it has almost become our national food. Indian food is really unlike any European cuisine and you experience an outburst of flavours with just one small bite. If you are looking for exceptional Indian food in the Midlands, August’s Partner of the Month might just be your best bet.Maazi Indian Restaurant is offering a prize that will make your mouth water instantly.
Whether you want Indian food catered at an event you are organising in order to make it stand out or you just feel like something spicy on a cold evening, Maazi Indian Restaurant is the ideal choice. You can also take advantage of the prize by taking your loved ones out for dinner at any of their 3 Midlands locations. With fantastic service and affordable prices, Maazi will surely leave you satisfied.
Their newest site – Maazi Leek is situated inside an old textile mill and reflects a blend of its original features as well as South Asian influences. This truly gives this restaurant a unique ambience and an edge over other restaurants as Indian food in the Midlands is widely common. Since their staff and chefs have years of experience, you will be served the best Indian food in the Midlands!The aromatic curries served in the traditional aluminium pots will give you a truly authentic Indian feel.
If you are organising an event in one of our Party Houses in the Midlands, you can ask Maazi to cater for you and your guests.You can expect delicious food along with a successful and comfortable party at one of our houses. Maazi has been providing catering and free delivery services to Party Houses for years. It always adds a unique touch to events celebrated in our Party Houses.
Maazi is known to provide excellent food and service, attempting to deliver more than what is expected of them. The menu choice is enormous so for the ones who cannot handle too much spice, there is always an alternative.
What’s the prize?
Maazi Indian restaurant is offering a wonderful prize for the winner in the form of a £70 voucher. This can be used for both dining in or takeaway. Additionally, they are offering a free pick up and drop off service in the signature Indian Tuk Tuk, providing you with a lovely Indian feel. Do not miss out on winning this generous voucher for the best Indian food in the Midlands!
How can I win?
In order to win, all you have to do is sign up below. Fill in your details and enjoy a hot and spicy traditional Indian meal!
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Fantastically Unique Wedding Ideas
Wedding days are incredibly special moments in time. Imagine all of our favourite people gathered in one spot to celebrate love and commitment. Although the traditional ceremonies are beautiful and eye-watering, giving your wedding reception a modern twist is always fun. Prepare a surprise or two for your guests by going for out-of-the-box wedding ideas that will keep your guests talking about your special day for years to come.
As we love to inspire our guests, we came up with a list of interesting wedding ideas. These ideas are not just wedding appropriate as most of them would also work great for a big birthday party, anniversary or any other big celebration.
Beautiful websites are so easy to make nowadays. Take advantage of the different website providers with templates (ie. Squarespace, Jimdo, Wix…) to create something quick and beautiful. Not only can you send out an invitation in a special way but you will also be able to upload all of your wonderful photos and videos on it so all of your guests will be able to get their hand on their favourite wedding moments.
Get to know the area where you’re marrying and choose the food accordingly. Not only will you be able to provide your guests with extremely fresh food, but they’ll also be able to try out different local delicacies that might pleasantly surprise their taste buds. If you’re looking to get married in the Peak District, we have a couple of great providers to recommend, Sauced Here and Peak District Deli, both local companies offering a big range of various local and fresh goodies.
Have you ever heard of Fizz & Flute? This innovative company offers cute converted Italian vans with taps of unlimited delicious fizz. Their mobile fizz bar service is perfect for any big celebration or special event. Their team will be happy to stay during your event and cater your guests or if you prefer, rent it out on a self-serve basis. If you want to spice it up, even more, ask the team for some nice fizz cocktail ideas.
Wedding dessert a bit differently
Although wedding cakes seem such a staple piece in traditional weddings, many people are not actually big fans of cake. So why not go for a mountain of cupcakes, or a net of doughnuts instead? You can even hire a special pastry chef to prepare different little deserts in front of your guests’ eyes. Check out some more wedding dessert ideas.
Wedding pictures with a twist
Have you heard of magic mirror photo booth? It’s an interactive photo booth that will enable your guests to take fun individualised photos and print them out as they go. The magic mirror photo booths are extremely customisable, so you can even attach your wedding signatures to one of the corners of all the photos and leave your mark. The guests will be able to take some photographs with them while leaving some others for the wedding album. If you’re looking to hire one, check out the Escape Games Events.
Late night karaoke
After the ceremony and a couple of drinks, the ice has been broken and it’s time to bring out the microphones and your favourite tunes! Karaoke is sure to make everyone laugh. Grab your uncles and your aunts and ask them to sing their favourite song in a duo. You can even set up some props so your guests can feel like real pop/rock stars.
Choreograph a dance or even a musical number together with your best friends or funniest family members. It will get everyone laughing and dancing to the beats. And then all you need to do is to invite everyone to join you on the dance floor!
Turn your Wedding Day into a Wedding Weekend
Why celebrate for just one day when you can turn your wedding party into a weekend of fun, laughter and bonding between both sides of the family. Another great wedding idea is to rent out a big self-catering and private Party House for a weekend which will provide the perfect set up for your celebration. You can set up a marquee for everyone to dine together, a bouncy castle for the youngest members of your group, a couple of hot tubs for your guests to relax in, and so much more. We would suggest taking at look at the spacious Hamps Hall and Barn located in the stunning Peak District, Charnwood Forest Estate for a traditional manor with a modern twist, or our largest venue, the Backwater Manor located just next to the Somerset coastline.
If you’d like to help us find perfect wedding ideas for your special day, just give us a call! Our agents know the industry well and would be very happy to provide you personal help with finding the right venue, activity providers, and other valuable suggestion.
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Top Midlands Walks, Hikes and Sites
There’s plenty of things that the Midlands are famous for. The industrial revolution started right in Brighton where the brightest minds of the time gathered under the name The Lunar Society. This significant area was the home of famous figures such as J. J. R. Tolkien, Sir Isaac Newton, Philip Larkin, William Shakespeare, and the list goes on… Also, the Cadbury chocolate; we just can’t get enough of it!
But our real appreciation for the Midlands comes from its incredible and breath-taking nature. There are almost too many beautiful spots in this area, so we narrowed the list down, to give you our top suggestions on Midlands walks, sights and hikes in the local area.
The Roaches are interesting rock formations just above Leek, making it a popular destination for hikers and rock climbers. The most famous rock formations of the Roaches are the Ramshaw Roch, Hen Cloud, and the Winking Man. There’s also a pool of water called the Doxey Pool, and the legend has it that there’s a mermaid residing inside. Finish your trip by visiting the Lud’s Church, amazing moss-clad gritstone chasm.
Funny fact: Courtney Brocklehurst, Sir Philip Brocklehurst’s younger brother used to live in Roaches Hall and had its own exotic zoo. While Courtney tragically died in WWII, five Australian Wallabies escaped from the zoo and into nature. It’s believed that there is still a small colony of them around.
Another fantastic idea if you’re looking for one of the best Midlands walks is the Mam Tor, a stunning mountain tracing back to the Bronze Age. There is a stone surfaced footpath that will lead you to one of the most amazing views of the Peak District. You can explore the “mother hill” by taking a nice 3 miles long circular walking path. On average it usually takes 2 hours to walk, and can easily be taken with your children and dogs.
This site is located on the border between Worcestershire and Staffordshire. The very top provides its hikers with a beautiful view of the surrounding area, but this is not exactly what makes the Kinver Edge famous. Bellow the summit and carved into the rocks you’ll find little houses. Keep your eyes out for Nanny’s Rock as you’ll be able to enjoy a great viewpoint of cave and rock dwellings, including the famous Holy Austin Rock, where you’ll be able to go inside and take a look at how the former residents lived inside the rocks.
If you’re looking for some beautiful nature without needing to hike, visit the Sutton Park. With its 2,400 acres, this place is considered to be one of the UK’s largest urban parks. Located just on the outskirts of Birmingham, its accessible to all as there is no entrance charge (although you might need to pay for parking in the summer). This park represents the perfect getaway out of the city. You’ll be able to enjoy several lakes, cafés and restaurants, and various activities such as a golf course, a donkey sanctuary, and a lovely children’s playground. Bring your dogs, kites, model aeroplanes, bikes or a picnic basket; you’re guaranteed to have a wonderful time.
Long Mynd is a part of the Shropshire Hills located in West Midlands on the border with Wales. This 5 miles aka 3-hour walk is perfect for those looking for a bit more demanding hike. Your efforts won’t be for anything, as you will be rewarded with incredible views of Shropshire.
If you’re looking to just explore the area with the kids, go pond dipping, bird watching, wild swimming or simply bring your picnic basket and enjoy some fresh air and good vibes.
If you’re also a fan of the Midlands and are looking to get away from the busy city life and stay in the local area, take a look at our Party Houses in the Midlands and the Peak District.
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Stir it up with a Cocktail Workshop
New monthly competition is bringing a new Partner of the Month of April, TheBartender and providing you with yet another chance to win a fun activity! Whether you’d like a bartender to cater your event, or you always wanted to learn how to make cocktails like a professional, you’ll love this prize!
TheBartender at Home is based in Bristol and has been hosting a range of different parties across the UK since 2005. Their team consists of incredibly talented bartenders who have mixed drinks at thousands of events and therefore really offer a wonderful range of packages for all mixed-drinks enthusiasts out there.
They offer two main packages which would be ideal for any house party. The Cocktail Chemistry event comes with a mixologist who will bring your cocktail-making skills to a whole new level. The Bartender at Home, on the other hand, will do just the opposite as it will liberate you from any work and let experts take care of your guests’ thirst at your next event.
Everyone loves to throw a party at home, however not everyone wants to spend the night checking that their guest’s drinks are topped up, the beers properly chilled, and that glassware isn’t strewn across the garden. By hiring The Bartender at Home, you can relax at your own party, and have drinks brought to you whilst you chat and mingle with your friends. Meanwhile, your guests can order drinks at the bar when they want them. Their bartenders will also make for great entertainment that you and your guests will remember for years to come.
TheBartender at Home even gives you the freedom to purchase your own drinks, glassware and ice in order to keep with your budget. They can provide you with a shopping list, tailored to you and on the cocktails and drinks you would like to see served at the party.
Are you planning a weekend full of entertainment? Whether it’s a hen do or a team building activity that you’re organizing, you’ll love the idea of a Cocktail Clinic. This cocktail-making event has been devised and perfected over the past ten years by award-winning bartenders from across the South of the UK. TheBartender at Home has created an entertaining workshop where you not only have fun mixing drinks but also take something from the session (not we’re not talking about a hangover!).
Are you ready to compete?
TheBartender is giving you a chance to win £100 voucher for their services. The voucher can be used at any of our large group accommodations or even at your place. So whether you have a birthday coming up, a hen do with the gals, want to impress your colleagues or just organize a fun night with your friends, TheBartender has you covered.
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Entertaining Events Around the UK in April 2018
Spring is finally here and so are fun events happening all over the country. We gathered a list of the best events in April 2018 happening in different cities all around. In London, you won’t want to miss the London Games Festival, which always finds a creative way to reach to it’s fans. There’s also a comedy festival happening in Bath for all you stand-up enthusiast out there. Movie buffs will be able to enjoy Birmingham’s film festival. Those who appreciate nature and enjoy digging into dirt to make something beautiful will enjoy a flower show in Harrogate. Finally, get your books to Stratford for a literary festival and get an author’s autograph in your favourite book.
London Games Festival 2018
London Games Festival is joining the culture and art of gaming by featuring hundreds of best video games out there today. The festival is returning to the capital for the third year in a row and has scheduled over 40 events in 30 different venues around London. Finally, make sure to visit the Games Character Parade on the 14th of April and see your favourite character.
Take the time to have some laughs! The Bath Comedy Festival has been bringing great stand-up to the beautiful and UNESCO-protected city of Bath since 2008. This year you’ll be able to share some laughs with Arthur Smith, Jenny Eclair and Mark Thomas.
This festival will deliver an intimate experience, where you’ll not only be able enjoy great stand-up, but also caricatures, cartoons, mimes and movies.
If you’re somewhere in the Midlands, you won’t want to miss the Flatpack Film Festival! You’ll be able to indulge in screenings of feature films, movies in 3D, shorts, and animated films as well as media installations, walking tours and even music performances and late night parties.
The Harrogate Flower Show is April’s highlight for all gardening enthusiasts around the UK. Come and see the country’s biggest floral art marquee with countless intricate works of flower arrangements. Bring your children as well as there will be plenty of crafting, planting and other fun activities for children.
When: 26 – 29th of April 2018
Where: Regional Agricultural Centre, Harrogate HG2 8NZ
Finally, an event for all of us, book worms out there! This Literary Festival in April 2018 is bringing some of the best selling writers and celebrity authors such as Carol Ann Duffy, John Simpson and PD James to Warwickshire. Get your book signed by your favourite author, visit creative writing workshops and check out guest appearances by Horrible Histories.
Finally, don’t forget to apply for April’s Partner of the Month competition. This month we’re partnering up with TheBartender, a well established UK company offering to a chance to win a voucher for bartending services or a cocktail-making event. If you’re looking for somewhere to stay, take a look at our Party Houses.
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Train like You’re Competing in the Hunger Games
Remember the Hunger Games? Here’s your opportunity to win a Laporte Sky Bow event with Madrenaline Activities and perfect your archery skills.
Madrenaline Activities is a well-known activity centre located in the Peak District, within an easy access from Manchester, Liverpool, and Staffordshire. With over 10 years of experience, this popular activity centre offers a range of adventurous activities, ideal for anyone who enjoys the feeling of letting go and trying something new. Get some fresh air and your heart pumping by trying something new all while spending a great time with your friends, family or coworkers.
Here, you’ll be able to try out UK’s first off-road obstacle course Segway Safari, have fun Aqua Sphering or test your skills at Laser Clay Pigeon Shooting. If you’re more of a competitive nature, try Body Zorb Football, ideal for a fun-filled day with your group.
Test your skills at Laporte Sky Bow
Laporte Sky Bow is a brand new activity offered by the Madrenaline Activity Centre. A mix between clay pigeon shooting and archery, this is sure to be a fun experience whether you’re a group friends or looking for a fun corporate activity idea.
Madrenaline’s expert instructors will introduce you to a new concept in archery which involves a moving target. Train like Katniss Everdeen in Hunger Games and use your Sky Bow and Arrow to take down your floating targets. Take a few tries to train your eyeand coordination and then make the activity even more fun by setting up a tournament. Think of a fun prize and get your group excited for a new challenge.
As the targets are made of foam while arrows and bows differ in weight and size, this activity can easily be adapted to different group ages, making it a fun family activity as well.
Enter the competition
Do you have a stag party or a hen party coming up? Or maybe you’re looking for a out-of-the-box corporate activity idea? Do you happen to be staying at one of our Peak District’s Party Houses (no worries if you’re not)? Then make sure to enter your name and email below and compete for a change to try this brand new activity only offered at Madrenaline Activities. Enjoy a day learning Laporte Sky Bow, challenging yourself and your teammates.
Compete to win a £100 voucher for your Sky Bow Event
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Events Around the UK in March 2018
New month, new opportunities! March 2018 is not only bringing the warm spring weather but also plenty of events in the UK. Explore open air markets, enjoy interactive exhibitions, donate to a good cause and most importantly, call your mum as Mother’s day is on the 11th of March!
Chesterfield Open Air Market
With over a 800 years long tradition, the Chesterfield Market represents one of the oldest and largest open air markets in England. You’ll be able to browse between a variety of products from fresh seasonal products to home decor, presents, clothes and more. Also make sure to take a ride and enjoy the view from the Chesterfield wheel.
Paternoster Square in London is lighting up with 4,000 yellow daffodils, representing support for terminally ill people and their families. Make a donation for the Marie Curie Nurses and get a complementary daffodil pin in return where you’ll be able to write a message to your loved one and putting it on the “Memory Wall”.
No matter where in the world you are, Mother’s day is a special day to show appreciation for your mum. Send or give her a (preferably handmade) gift, invite her for an afternoon tea or dinner and treat her to something special. This Sunday, make it about her.
When: 11th of March 2018
Harmonics in Space
Explore new artistic dimensions in this interactive exhibition by Fred Butler. Exploring the energy of chromotherapy, you’ll be able to explore “healing spheres” intended to help you disconnect and enhance your mood.
If you’d like to find a venue to accommodate you during your holidays, corporate retreats and or a big group celebration, take a look at our range of our Party Houses.
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How to Promote Your Venue Efficiently
Do you own a property that you rent out or would like to but aren’t sure how to promote it and where to start? Getting a couple of bookings in during the summer is quite easy but how do you generate all year round interest and create a steady income for yourself? This article will talk about just that – the benefits of using online resources to promote your venue and maximise interest in your property.
1. Create and manage your online presence
First thing’s first, create a profile for your venue online. Whether that’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, your own website or better yet, all of the above, the more online profiles you generate for your venue, the bigger the chances of being found by potential guests.
When creating an online profile, one of the most important aspects is to post regularly. With social media, this implies posting valuable content consistently, including high-quality images, videos and engaging captures. If you decide to have a website, you can do so quite easily by using Squarespace, Jimdo, Weebly or Wix, or simply hire a developer who can design a website for you. You’ll also want to feature a blog page on your website where you can post on a weekly basis. This will keep the search engines happy and your website fresh. Update your future guests about different events you’re hosting, parties you can help organise etc.
When publishing your content, you’ll also want to be conscious of the language and keywords you use. You’ll want to ensure your profile is optimised for different types of web searches (ie. UK wedding venue, party house to rent, large group accommodation…). If you’d like to learn more about this topic, you might want to take a look at the best SEO practices for wedding venues.
2. List with an agency
Agencies are a great way to get your venue seen by more potential guests. They have designated staff for SEO optimisation and promotion, strong social media presence, and a big number of people they reach on a regular basis. Agencies usually have strong domain names and optimised websites, enabling them to be at the top of Google searches. Even better, they have a range of returning guests. Guests, who are always looking for the next best party house to visit.
There are two main types of agencies, ones with a yearly fee and ones which are commission-based. Agencies with a yearly fee usually charge a sign-up fee to cover the fee of creating a profile and provide a platform where your venue can be featured. More often then not these types of agencies then work as a database of venues, simply forwarding enquiries. They also tend to streamline particular venues that tend to generate more interest and push those that don’t further behind.
On the other hand, commission-based venues usually have no sign up fee but earn money on bookings that they generate for your property. Therefore, these agencies put a great emphasis on marketing efforts and customer care. Commission-based agencies tend to have a more personal approach with the guests and venue owners in order to create extra value for both.
Although listing with an agency requires a fair degree of consideration, signing up with an agency has a number of benefits. Agents answer the incoming enquiries with further information about your venue, forward you relevant enquiries, and recommend your venue to potential guests. Furthermore, they can create a lot of promotion by utilising their audience. This includes social media posts, feature your special offers, and broadcasting your venue through a widespread newsletter list and more.
3. Start getting bookings
We can all agree that the UK market has become quite saturated with venues and venue representatives. So much so, that it has become very difficult to get your venue’s name out there and gain the exposure you need without using third party resources. This does not, however, mean that you’ll lose a personal touch with your customers. Listing your venue with a smaller agency will ensure that all of the agents know your venue inside out and can provide the added value to your potential guests. Not to mention how much nicer it will be to discuss your venue with agents that you know personally.
Although good venues always see returning guests, nowadays it has become quite difficult to get a venue booked year-round. Which is why affiliating your venue with valuable partners can be very profitable. Not to mention how many wonderful moments your new guests will be able to have at your special property.
Who said that February is a boring month? In February 2018 celebrate Chinese New Year’s in London, watch dramatic historical reenactments at the Viking Festival in York, visit Liverpool and see one of the biggest discoveries of today, the Terracotta Warriors, explore the red line between the contemporary digital innovations and artistic expression in Manchester, and finally enjoy a range of fantastic movies at the Glasgow Film Festival.
Held in Manchester, this is the last month that humansbeingdigital you’ll be able to check out this popular exhibition. In this free-of-charge exhibition you’ll be able to challenge your thoughts on connecting digital as something mechanical and robust with human beings and art of creation, fluidity and inspiration.
The Terracotta Warriors represent one of the world’s greatest archaeological discoveries. Discovered just in 1974, the underground army of life-sized warriors have been guarding the tomb of China’s First Emperor. The exhibition will take you through the conflict-filled historical era of the Qin and Han dynasties.
This week long commemoration of the important historical event of 866 AD when the Great Viking Army arrived and conquered England. Events organised will take you on walks, tours and dramatic combat performances of the impact of the Viking invasion of Anglo-Saxon England.
The Glasgow Film Festival is a real treat for any movie buff! With movies ranging from all time classics and contemporary blockbusters all the way to experimental artistic pieces. This being one of the leading UK film festivals, they also have a number of great events in store that will put you in the flow of your favourite movies.
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