What the brothers (and others) have said:
These are just a few special (unsolicited) quotes from thousands of written testimonials and comments:
- "Your arranging these tours is the answer to our prayer!"
- "it takes all the stress out of the weekend"
- "Our weekend was absolutely AWESOME! Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the itinerary and the association. The general consensus was when can we do this again, and how can you (Bethel Tours) do all this for the price we paid. We feel like weve robbed you!?!"
- "The Hotel was very comfortable, the brothers were surprised at the standard considering what they had paid."
- "I have thought long and hard about how to improve this trip (betheltours asked all of us) but have failed miserably! The Bethel - excellent. Hotel - first class organisation and staff friendly. The Bus - always there on time, patient, safe in mad London traffic. British Museum - tour guide was very informative and without that it would have been hard work. Boat trip, tour of London, Covent Garden - everything else was spot on. Overall everything was so well thought out and well organised. We didnt have to think of anything which was a testament to the hard work put in. The company of Jehovah's people is what pulled it all together and so makes a lovely lovely weekend."
- "The trip represents exceptional Value for Money. I would expect to have spent at least £400 for such an eventful and comfortable weekend had I done it independently."
- "I am amazed at the timings. Everything including the coach travel through traffic was always within 5 minutes of the itinerary - wow!"
- "a superb holiday"
- "excellent organised trip"
- "very uplifting weekend"
- "your 'biblical history' is astonishing!"
- "all the young ones have had a fab time"
- "your loving care and attention"
- "a lovely weekend with good association"
- "a mixture of love and laughter"
- "weekend feast spiritual and companionship wise"
- "We went on the one with Manchester New Moston and were really impressed."
- "It was such a resounding success and the brothers and sisters had a fabulous time. Heena was a delight – great fun and she got on very well with everybody. ...made a great double act with their guide commentary! Everything was organised so well and it was lovely to just relax and enjoy the trip."
- "All who attended (including 3 unbelieving husbands) feel much closer and we’re all really refreshed and upbuilt."
- "the whole weekend was really wonderful, everything so well organized everybody enjoyed the experience, and our lovely guide Heena we wanted to bring her to Wigan with us such a joy to be with. Thank you so much for your caring for us ."
- (2011: 3-day trip) Dear brother Derek - Thanks for everything!!!!!!!!Being with our brothers and sisters in the group this 3 days was the best we could do in our trip!
we enjoyed every part of the tour!!!!!Thanks also for the photos.
- (2011: 3-day trip) Thank you on behalf of all of us at Clydach Congregation for what was a fantastic trip. Peter and Heena were incredible -they catered for everything and I had nothing but praise for them from all on the trip. Thank you and Pauline for organising this for us -it has left us all on a spiritual high and I have no doubt we will want to do it again in the near future
- (2011: 3-day trip) "Everyone had a really fantastic time as I am sure you realised by their comments and happy spirit on the trip. So many commented how the trip was amazing value for money and how delighted they were to be part of it. Ralph [driver] was fantastic wasn't he! You have a good team to look after us. I especially noticed how you looked after him Derek, I thought you were very kind with him...
- (2011: 3-day trip) Dear Derek & Pauline; thanks so much for the amazing photos - everyone loves them, thanks again. Didnt realise would have a copy for each person + babies :), Thanks again for providing an amazing Bethel Trip and some great memories for the cong. Keep up the great work - encouragement should never be under valued!!! yes its like treasure !!! :) Thanks again to all your team.
- (Sept 2011: 3-day trip) Words cant really express our gratitude for the hard work you have put into making our Bethel trip a massive success! Can I say special thanks to Philip Osborne who really is a warm, kind and considerate Brother! His guiding skills made all present feel relaxed and we have a much better knowledge of London now! As a Congregation we feel on a bit of a spiritual high and already a few of us talking of a New York Bethel trip so watch this space!
- (2012: 3-day trip) As always, you’re probably sick of me saying this, but we really appreciate what you do for us a congregation and my stumbling across your website 4 years ago must have been by angelic direction!
- (2012: 3-day trip) Hotel – on arriving 5 staff awaited at the entrance for the coach to welcome us. One came onboard to welcome us etc whilst another worked through the coach giving out the keycards…whist 2 others took the cases in to the hotel. Very slick process. The cases were then taken to the rooms for us. All the rooms were correct too (generally one will be wrong in some way!!!!) The food was served to the tables in the evening and was of a very high standard. The staff could not do enough for us and were so polite. They told me that we were a pleasure to serve and the friendliest tour party they had ever had. A good witness, and a positive for Bethel Tours. Also the place was spotlessly clean throughout. There is a pool/sauna/steam room/ gym – all very good too.
- (Sept 2012: 3-day trip) This is our third year in a row of using Bethel Tours and you never fail to deliver!!!
- (Oct 2012: 3-day trip) I just wanted to say a big thank you from all of us that went on the Leyland trip to London bethel. Everyone had a fantastic time and had many lovely things to say about how much they enjoyed it. There was really nothing even a little bit negative as it all went so well! Peter was a brill guide and Andy the driver was fab.
- (Oct 2012: 3-day trip) I would like to thank you so much for an extremely enjoyable trip over the weekend. Many expressed how much they appreciated the time we spent together, and did not want it to end! Heena was absolutely marvellous!! She is a credit to you and Jehovah in the way she looked after us as a group and individually, all with genuine love and a great sense of humour.She is a delight to be with. Please give her our love.
I would also like to commend Andy our coach driver. The way he conducted himself was exemplary. Not only did he drive us to, from and around London with great professionalism. He also showed us courtesy and often went above and beyond the call of duty to assist us. He is a credit to Lakeside Coaches and to you. Please commend them on my behalf. He and Heena have a lovely rapport which made the trip most enjoyable.
The children in our group loved Heena to bits!! She seemed to have great fun entertaining them and us. Just ask her about the quiz and sing along on the way home… Heena can explain all!!
Many appreciated how nice the hotel is. The children and some adults made full use of the pool and other facilities!! These trips are a vital aid in strengthening our faith in Jehovah and in encouraging one another. What a wonderful opportunity to build on existing friendships and to create new ones. These trips are little taste of what life will be like in the new world.
- (Feb 2013: 3-day trip)Have received the Booking Forms and Notice Board sheets, thank you very much for them I will now be collecting together names from my congregation. Thank you again for all your help it really is making organising this a pleasure.
- Those days of 2011 when I was able to join your Israel trip were among the most "rememberable" days of my life, thanks to Jehovah and your expertise and the planning you and your group did.
- "(Mar 2013: 3-day trip) In the group we had two unbelieving husbands and one of them [name] said to me that he has been thinking about having a study and now he definitely made his mind up to have one. He was very impressed. I thought that was lovely. His wife has been studying for a while and is an unbaptised publisher."
- "(Apr 2013: 3-day trip) Hi Derek, What a fantastic trip!!!! The brothers were over the moon. We had a tremendous time with Heena and Andy. We even wrote and sang a song about Heena. The tours went very well ... I must tell you I feel so privileged to have taken the tours. We even had a group of school children tagging along and quite a number of positive comments from members of the public.
The hotel was outstanding and many of the brothers commented on how much they enjoyed staying there. Would definitely recommend again. PS Big thank you to Pauline for all her "behind the scene" work. "
- "(April 2013: 3-day trip) Peter was an excellent guide and Nathan a brilliant, safe and most helpful driver; we telephoned his company to let them know how impressed we all were with his service. I am sure the elders in our congregation will be writing a letter of thanks to the Bethel thanking them, we were well looked after. We can only recommend other congregations to go on this trip – it has helped bond everyone who came along. I very much look forward to receiving the photos and sharing them with all who came on the trip"
- "(May 2013: 3-day trip) Hi Derek - We wanted to let you know how much we enjoyed our trip. Everyone was delighted with the arrangements.
The Hotel was great and the staff were so friendly, the food and facilites excellent. Peter was so helpful and informative and he removed so much responsibilty from myself and June that we got so much more out of the trip. We must also mention the driver Mark, all agreed that he was the best coach driver we have ever had. So thanks so much for your efforts, and you can pass our appreciation on to all involved. PS We will certainly be in touch in the near future, as all felt that we should, without fail, organise another trip"
- "(May 2015: 3-day trip) We had been looking forward to this trip for so long, we were expecting it to be good but it wasn't - it was just amazing and exceeded all our expectations!! (NB: Already planning another trip)"
- "(Oct 2016: 3-day trip) Thank you, thank you, thank you so very much for all your hard work in organising the wonderful trips to Bethel and London. This is the second one we have been on, and find them to be so encouraging, faith strengthening and just fabulous. When it was announced at the beginning of the year, we knew we could only afford either this trip or an annual holiday, we decided to do the Bethel trip again and have not regretted the decision one bit.
The Crowne Plaza, Heathrow was outstanding. There is no way we could afford to stay in a hotel like this so felt pampered and spoilt. The food was exceptional too. Chris has a wheat intolerance, and the chef was very helpful, even cooking something for him.
Heena is a wonderful guide. She is a good laugh and keeps us all entertained during the travelling. We had Jake do our British Museum tour, he too was great. We would like to say that this weekend, both Heena and the driver Andy were brilliant. We just wanted you to know what a wonderful team you have and thank you again for running these immensely enjoyable trips."
- "My name is Peter and I work for the Lutheran Church in Sweden. We enjoyed a Bible tour of Yours With Ken as a Guide last August and would like the book the same thing this year. We are coming to London with a 8 17 year old girls and two adults. I think the tour we had last year was called Bible Highlights of the Museum. If possible we would like the tour on (-) August at 11 am or thereabouts."
- "Thank you for such an amazing weekend, everyone throughly enjoyed the trip and we have some wonderful memories to cherish. We have come away spiritually upbuilt and united as brothers and sisters.
We appreciate your hard work to ensure that everything went smoothly and efficiently with such loving organisation.
We would highly recommend Colin the coach driver, he was professional, helpful and we felt secure and relaxed at all times.
Jo and the other tour guides were wonderful and provided us with a deeper understanding of Bible history and the sights of London.
The hotel facilities were pleasant and we all enjoyed our meals. The kids loved the pool. We look forward to our next trip with you. Warm Christian Love.. "
- (Apr 2017: 3-day trip) "I thought you may like to get a little feed back from our driver from our great Bethel trip. He said we were the best passengers he ever had and was so impressed that we were all so happy together, no falling out, back on time, no separate groups and the children were so good. He enjoyed the days bible comments! He said that he wasn't religious but if ever he were to change ours would be the one. He accepted a brochure tract and magazine. What a blessing to be in Jehovah's organisation. Hope our cong will be doing another trip some time. Thanks again - Margaret "
(April 2017: 3-day trip) " Hi Derek, Thanks so much for the photo and also for the arranging of the whole tour. We enjoyed it immensely and it was wonderfully managed. It made the whole touring experience a delight. The hotel was an excellent standard and [guide] was both caring, efficient and unflappable - and kept his sense of humour.
We appreciate a lot of thought and time and work is involved in organizing such a tour and we appreciate very much being able to attach to the tour and share it with the congregation. We recognize too that we were given a great deal of value for the cost involved. Thanks for that too.
We would certainly recommend the tour to any of the brothers heading your way."
- (May 2017: 3-day trip) "I want to thank you so, so much for an amazing time. It was great to see the printing press at the bethel and yesterday on the river, the absolute highlight of the trip was the faith strengthening tour of the British museum. ... absolutely brilliant! There were 10 children on the trip and both Phil and Ellice helped them enjoy what my 11yr old son said was his best weekend ever! Thank you again for a wonderful weekend. I look forward to our next one."
- (May 2017: 3-day trip) " What a great experience we have had. Phil and Heena were wonderful. You run a great team and the brothers loved the weekend. Praise to Patrick who drove the coach. He fitted in like a brother!"
- (Aug 2017: 3-day trip) " We would like to give you a huge, huge thanks for all your tremendous hard work in organising such a wonderful weekend for us all. It really was faultless, & it couldn't have gone any better if it was scripted. Literally every brother & sister that went had the best time, & loved every minute. We were so well cared & catered for. Our guide Phil was superb, & Andy the driver was terrific. The hotel was perfect. Each day was so well put together, our hearts really swell in gratitude. We pray that Jehovah continues to bless all your hard work for the brothers & sisters in organising these trips that are so encouraging & upbuilding. It really is truly appreciated. The weekend will live long in the memories of all, particularly our youngsters. We are sure to go again in the future.
- (Sept 2017: 3-day trip) " On behalf of the 52 of us, can we just say a huge thank you for organising a terrific trip this last weekend. The weekend was packed with really interesting, educational, encouraging and faith strengthening experiences that we all really enjoyed. Phil was a great guide and really looked after us well. The driver, hotel and all arrangements made for us were top notch and we just want to say thank you very much."
- (Sept 2017) " WOW what a fantastic trip!!! Thank you so much for organising it for us. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves and we can't wait until the next one! Heena was brilliant as well, everyone loved having her as our guide again. Many thanks!!
- (Sept 2017) "Thanks so much for all your help with the tour, it was absolutely fantastic!!"
- (Feb 2018: Oswestry) "enjoyed the trip as usual"
- (Feb 2018: Thirsk) "The hotel (Noke) was very good. The food was of a good standard, the bar area comfortable and relaxed, rooms very clean and the staff were really friendly and couldn’t do enough for us. I would certainly recommend the hotel to use again."
- (Feb 2018: Newquay: 3-day trip) "very high standard; thank you for all your wonderful work"
- (Feb 2018: Bodmin: 3-day trip) "I've been meaning to mail you to say what a fantastic time we had in February and how well everything went and very smooth too. But now it's June!!! Sorry to neglect that. A sister in our neighbour cong ...is looking to plan a similar London trip I have sent the website. She will be emailing you soon. k"
- (Feb 2018: Pontypridd: 2-day trip) "Hi Derek and Team; on behalf of the Pontypridd Congregation can I thank you for our recent trip to Chelmsford and the London Museum. All the brothers and sisters really enjoyed themselves and appreciated Ellice's commentary through London etc and the various tour guides at the Museum. I am already being asked to organise another one for next year so that in itself shows what the brothers thought. No doubt we will be in touch again in due course and i have also passed on your details to the neighbouring Congregation - Talbot Green so hopefully they will be in touch soon. Thanks again to everyone, (and of course your help in rearranging after our snow debacle!)"
- (April 2018: Exeter) "A big thank you from our congregation for a spiritually upbuilding and very well organised tour. Everyone had a wonderful time. The coach driver was excellent. Food and service at the hotel was also very good. Thank you for everything you have done to make this run so smoothly. " "So we had a great trip everything went well. I think they all want to do another trip already according to Jeremy as they had a great time. Everyone loved the tours at the Museum and the kiddies tour went really well the kids were very interactive and we had great fun on the tour. Hotel was great from check in to check out. Food was good with a good variety. Our driver was fantastic. He followed direction and many brothers commented how patient he was in and around London. So really happy to say great weekend. Look forward to the next one. "
- (April 2018: Gorseinon: 3-day trip) "These weekends are aimed at being “faith strengthening” – that phrase is not really strong enough for the benefit we all received on this weekend! We normally leave it a couple of years before the next tour, but everyone wants to see the progress at Chelmsford so we may be back next year.[note: booked already! 4-day trip]"
- (April 2018: Heswall: 3-day trip) "Thanks for an informative and really enjoyable trip, Derek; ... 5 stars!A great weekend, so well organised." "Just wanted to add our personal thanks for such a lovely weekend. Everything went so smoothly and was top quality. We loved the British Museum tour that Anita gave, please pass on our warm thanks to her for showing us the proof we only normally read about in our literature. The timing of everything was so well planned (even the weather was superb!) we just wanted you to know how grateful we are for the calm way you kept us all organised. Thanks again."
- (May 2018: Milford Haven: 2-day trip) "We just wanted to say a massive thank you to you for all your hard work & effort once again for our trip. Particularly as this time you had so much last minute stress to deal with! We would never have made it without your hard work, & the sacrifice of your Saturday evening & more. Everybody on the trip had such a great time, & the adversity & problems really seemed to draw everyone together & make it even more memorable in the end. The kids on the trip had a time they'll never forget, & so did the adults! We wish that Jehovah continues to bless your hard work, & everyone on your team, for all you do for the brothers & sisters."
- (May 2018: Paisley: 3-day trip) "Many comments of appreciation have been received and Ellice was an excellent guide. Will probably be in touch c.2020 to see the fully completed site! Have learned many lessons on booking trains which I'm happy to pass on."
- (May 2018: Southport-1: 3-day trip) "Thank you so much for organising such a fabulous trip for us! Our congregation had truly lovely, spiritually upbuilding time! We really appreciate all of your hard work in organising this so well for us!."
- (June 2018: Hesketh Park: 3-day trip) "Derek just wanted to convey again our sincere appreciation for all of your fantastic hard work in making our congregation is Bethel trip such a wonderful and enjoyable experience! Thank you also for the pictures. We may well be in touch early next year..."
- (Aug 2018: Todmorden: 3-day trip) "... everyone has said it was the best trip they’ve ever been on and loved it so much. So appreciative of everything you did before and during the trip to make it a success. It couldn’t have been better! And none of the three people with pace makers collapsed which is a success In my book!! Thank again for all of your amazing work helping us to see Bethel. Two sisters who haven’t been to meetings for years came on the trip and both have text me saying it’s re-ignited their love for Jehovah and zeal for the truth."
- (Aug 2018: Leeds Morley: 3-day trip) "Everyone thought it was a fabulous trip and really enjoyed it... everyone wants to do it again next yr, so hopefully will do... trip was just amazing loved the whole wkend thanx again Derek for all your hard work I know it can't be easy.."
- (Oct 2018: Bishop Auckland: 3-day trip) "We want to express our thanks for such a wonderful trip we enjoyed last weekend to London and the Bethel sites. Phil and Anita were excellent and so helpful and friendly. We all thoroughly enjoyed the whole weekend. One of our brothers commented on the assemblylike atmosphere and the attention to detail as being so encouraging and upbuilding. All of us would wholeheartedly recommend this experience and value for money was second to none. The hotel were very accommodating and every guest thoroughly enjoyed their stay. Our driver Andrew was very helpful and kept us running to schedule and on time. Heartfelt thanks go to Jehovah for this amazing provision and for our awesome brotherhood. Warm Christian Love."
- (Sept 2018: [Wallasey]: 3-day trip) "We would like to say a massive thank you to you for all your hard work to make our trip a truly unforgettable experience. We all feel truly encouraged and happy. There have been lovely expressions of gratitude from interested ones in our group. The British museum tours were a highlight and very interesting. Visiting Chelmsford and Mill Hill is like a snap shot of what the new world will be like. The Halfway house pub was a great choice thank you for recommending it. We would like to give a special mention to your guide John. He really was excellent. Very approachable and caring. Nothing was too much trouble. He clearly had done alot of research and made the tour interesting for the Brothers. The driver Andy was respectful at all times also. "
- (Sept 2018: [Preston]: 3-day trip) "Just to say a big thank you to Derek for arranging a very comprehensive three day Bethel Tour. The British Museum visit was fantastic and faith strengthening, followed by the following day visiting central London. Wonderful stuff indeed."
- (Sept 2018: [Oldham]: 3-day trip) "Ellice said goodbye thismorning; she’s been brilliant. We have arrived safely back in Oldham with an absolutely fabulous trip. Chelmsford is beautiful and amazing and awe inspiring. Thankyou so much Derek and Polly for all your incredible effort putting the Bethel tours trips together and making it all possible. "
- (Oct 2018: [Claughton]: 3-day trip) "Thank you for the pictures. They are great and a lovely reminder of a fabulous trip. Can we book a[nother] weekend in August 2019 please? We are looking at 30 & 31 August and 1st September?"
- (Oct 2018: [Bangor]: 3-day trip) "All weekend all 3 coaches were shadowing one another and we all got on the same boat too. Lovely experience with City Cruises. Last time I noticed that they had clocked on we were a bible tours group and on their commentary they mentioned “Our bible tours group will be interested in St Paul’s" As our group were getting on the boat he asked if were the bible tours group? So I made a point of telling them this time that we were Jehovah's Witnesses and he said that they love having us and we are a lovely happy bunch. I told him there were 3 coaches of us this time. Interesting thing was that he could tell who the witnesses were and who weren’t."
- (Oct 2018: [Bishop Auckland]: 3-day trip) "At the hotel the check inn went really smoothly except a problem with one room. Apparently it was a last minute change when 2 people dropped out and a family stepped in. The food was great and we had long tables of 12. The Food and Beverage Manager looked after us well and on Sunday even gave complimentary wine at dinner."
- (Oct 2018: [New Moston]: 3-day trip) "Our coach driver Gavin was brilliant. I can’t praise him enough. He a calm and safe driver and went above and beyond in looking after everyone. Always smiling. The brothers and sisters loved him and he was a pleasure to work with. He was very impressed by what he saw. He came on tour at both bethels and was amazed. He mentioned how clean everything was and that he’d seen working environments with printing press etc in Germany but never as clean as this. He also commented that he didn’t realise just how big our organisation is. All he knew about us is that we knock doors. He said if any bethel tours come up again he wants to do them all."
- (Oct 2018: [Lampeter]: 3-day trip) "From what everyone was saying to me they really enjoyed the trip and as there were 5 cong’s on the coach many said they want to organise one for there own congregations."
- (Oct 2018: [Whitefield]: 3-day trip) "To Derek, Pauline, Ben and the rest of the team at Betheltours... on behalf of the congregation and those who joined us on our Amazing Trip which everyone is still talking about a few weeks on and cant wait until the next one in October next year; just a year away today! We’d like to say a massive thankyou!! The trip was fantastic and our tour guide Ellice was fantastic as was our driver Andy... May Jehovah continue to bless your efforts in making these trips a success for the brothers and sisters; its very much appreciated."
- (March 2019: [Wadebridge]: 3-day trip) "Elliot summed it up last night when he said 'I never want this Weekend to end I've loved it so much."
- (March 2019: [Wadebridge]: 3-day trip) "We all had an amazing time! The driver was brilliant, exceptionally friendly and helpful, highly recommended! and was to quote him “blown away” at how we as witnesses behaved etc, he had a long chat with several brothers, took literature and was shown the website :) Phil our tour guide was brilliant! Hotel was great and all were very impressed with the food."