10 Years Since We Launched Wyndcliffe Court Sculpture Gardens

Wyndcliffe Court Sculpture Gardens 2013

It’s 10 years this year since we first opened the doors to Wyndcliffe Court Sculpture Gardens. This was a brand new business and we created the entire marketing for the business from scratch. It was full on, and full of fun, and I’ve been reminiscing not only on my time there but where the 10 years since have brought me.

Read our Case Study: Wyndcliffe Court Sculpture Gardens for a full overview of the work we did.

I have very fond memories of its incredible gardens which I got to know very well, the planting which was so well thought out that there was always something in bloom; the magnolia tree, the ponds, the kitchen garden, the views, the summerhouse, ‘the wilderness’ – it was immense.

Run by a small team, we all got stuck in to everything that needed doing. In addition to the marketing, I helped installing sculptures, adding labels and marking the location so that I could create the show guide. One day I stumbled on the pond in the formal garden being cleaned and helped out, we discovered several dragonfly larvae which I’d never seen before and was so astonished at what they looked like. There was a swing in ‘the wilderness’ left behind by the previous tenants and a trampoline! Old water channels were discovered in the woodland which looked like they had been blocked up many years previously, these were cleared and the water source traced and fixed, leading to the creation of a beautiful woodland pond.

It was such an incredible and unique place to live and work, and started my Wye Valley and Forest of Dean marketing journey. I met so many people from local tourism businesses during my time at Wyndcliffe and I’m grateful for the opportunities it led to. Where have 10 years gone?!

Wyndcliffe Court Sculpture Gardens house and gardens

Stand-up Paddleboarding Trips on the Wye

Black Grouse Outdoors SUP Wye 2022

We’ve loved working with the team at Black Grouse Outdoors to help launch their SUP expeditions this autumn, including organising an influencer weekend, social media support, PR and photography.

These beautiful videos are by some of the influencers who joined a recent trip from Hereford to Ross-on-Wye. They’re already fully booked on one of their 2023 trips, so we’d say it’s working pretty well!

Bon voyage team and safe travels ๐Ÿ™

Behind the Scenes of a Five Day Video and Photo Shoot

Find Your Freedom Behind the Scenes

What’s a five day photo and video shoot like? Here are a few behind the scenes shots from our recent photo and video shoot for Visit Dean Wye DMO.

Five days, 37 locations, 32 businesses, three models, seven volunteers, one photographer, one videographer, one assistant… and me! It was an epic production and the result is six inspiring short films and hundreds of professional new photos to help encourage people to visit this wonderful, eclectic area.

Given that we shot in January and February, we were relatively lucky with the weather. It was toe-numbingly cold most days. One morning the fog was so thick we couldn’t see more than a couple of metres in front of us and frost covered the ground until late morning. But a few times the sun shone and the clouds cleared and we had the most beautiful blue skies and golden light.

You can see the results including all six films, some of the beautiful photos and all five new itineraries at: https://www.visitdeanwye.co.uk/gofindfreedom

Spring Marketing Campaign Launched for Visit Dean Wye

We’ve just launched the brand new marketing campaign for Visit Dean Wye, the Destination Management Organisation for the Forest of Dean and Wye Valley: Find Your Freedom.

With a budget of ยฃ35k and completed in less than four months it’s been a whirlwind of creativity, working with a small group to achieve a huge amount of work in a (very) short amount of time!

At the end of January and beginning of February I coordinated a five day photo and video shoot including 37 locations, 32 businesses, three models, seven volunteers, one photographer, one videographer, one assistant… and me directing, coordinating, project managing, timekeeping and cat herding!

You can see the results including all six films, some of the beautiful photos and all five new itineraries at: https://www.visitdeanwye.co.uk/gofindfreedom

Representing Our Client at the British Tourism and Travel Show 2021

At the British Tourism and Travel Show 2023

We represented Visit Dean Wye at the British Tourism and Travel Show at the NEC in Birmingham from 22-23 September 2021.

The British Tourism & Travel Show is for tour operators, group travel organisers and travel trade professionals who want to discover exciting, new ideas for their trips, tours and itineraries. With more exhibitors than any other UK travel trade event it attracts teams from all over the UK and we were proud to be there to represent our beautiful Dean Wye.

We joined forces with Cotswolds Tourism, Marketing Cheltenham and Marketing Gloucester to create a Gloucestershire powerhouse, working together to showcase the attractions, tours, food & drink and places to stay across the area.

We had some really interesting meetings with school groups, bespoke and group tour organisers as well as listening to industry leaders with talks and keynotes from well known figures in tourism.

In advance of the show we created a comprehensive travel trade guide to the Forest of Dean and Wye Valley which we loaded onto USBs which we gave away at the show. You can see it on the Visit Dean Wye website here: https://www.visitdeanwye.co.uk/travel-trade

New Simpleview Website for Visit Dean Wye DMO

Destination Website

During the lockdowns this year we have been busier than ever, working hard to build strong online presences for our clients affected so that they were ready to attract and welcome visitors again once restrictions lifted.

One mammoth project completed during this time was a website redesign for Visit Dean Wye. The old website had become outdated, difficult to navigate and was unable to keep up with the DMO’s marketing and commercialisation needs. We chose Simpleview to work with on the redesign, one of the best known providers of destination websites worldwide and who were recommended by our friends at Visit Cheltenham, Visit Gloucester, Cotswolds Tourism and Visit Monmouthshire who all have websites built by Simpleview.

The new website went live at the end of October and we are thrilled with it. The work of a small dedicated team working alongside Simpleview, the desire for all of us was to build a website which better represented this stunning area that we are so passionate about promoting.

Easier to navigate, with brand new photography and copy throughout, fully mobile optimised and showcasing all that this wonderful area has to offer, it also has live accommodation availability for easy online booking, itinerary creation and a simple search facility so you can find exactly what you want quickly and easily. Our priorities, all of which were achieved, were:

  • Improved user experience
  • Simple navigation
  • Businesses front and centre
  • Mobile optimised
  • Stunning visuals
  • Engaging copy
  • Lots of other great stuff!

A proud achievement for us… but a website is not a static product and we will be continuing to add more great content, visuals, articles and inspiring guides to the Forest of Dean and Wye Valley in the months to come.

For all the information you need on what to do, where to stay and where to eat and drink in the Forest of Dean and Wye Valley see the brand new website at: https://www.visitdeanwye.co.uk/

Promoting Inspiring Adventures in the Wye Valley and Forest of Dean

PR and influencer experiences in the Wye Valley

We’ve been working with outdoors adventure company Inspire2Adventure for some time now. A fabulous local business based in Monmouth they provide a range of outdoor activities in the Wye Valley, Forest of Dean and Brecon Beacons. They’re an engaging, warm and fun team made up of husband and wife Paul and Liz, and they’ve been an absolute joy to work with.

Over the past few years we’ve provided marketing consultancy on their newly introduced stand-up paddleboarding experiences on the River Wye as well as article writing for their website, public relations and influencer collaborations.

Stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) is the UK’s fastest growing watersport and Inspire2Adventure recently introduced it to their range of activities so the combination of PR, influencer experiences and blog posts was a very successful marketing strategy for them without breaking the bank.

You can read the blog posts we’ve written for them on their website: https://www.inspire2adventure.com/inspire2adventure-blog The emphasis for these was on showcasing the experiences from the customer’s point of view and how safe, supportive, inclusive and enjoyable the experiences are.

Our PR work resulted in some lovely articles for them including in Outdoor Fitness Magazine and Camping Magazine.

Ever the lover of a PR stunt, we decided on a recent influencer event that since it was National Afternoon Tea Week we would bribe them with cake in return for them posing for our photo! It was a lovely stand-up paddleboarding session with a fab group of influencers – fabulously adventurous, generous, inspiring, interesting and interested people. We’ve already had loads of coverage from the day both on their social media and on their blogs too. A job well done we think!

In the Outdoor Fitness Magazine article Liz Marshall from Inspire2Adventure explains some of the reasons the sport has become so incredibly popular: ‘You can do it anywhere there is water; less equipment is needed than some other sports and there are lots of places to try it. There’s also less impact on the body, it’s less strenuous and doesn’t require major training.’

She also goes into detail about why the River Wye in particular is such a perfect area to try it: ‘The Wye Valley is a spectacular river valley with many options depending on the type of SUP trip people want to take. There are rapids in places, as well as plenty of calm sections where the current allows you to flow downstream with little effort.’

Happy client = happy us!

The Three Counties Tourism Forum 2020

Visit England Presentation at The Three Counties Tourism Forum

We joined the discussion around whatโ€™s happening in the travel and tourism industry at The Three Counties and Cotswolds Tourism Forum 2020 yesterday, representing Visit Dean Wye, the Destination Management Organisation for the Forest of Dean and Wye Valley.

It was an insightful day hearing from leaders and specialists at the forefront of the industry and brought together businesses working in the visitor economy across the three counties of Gloucestershire, Worcestershire and Herefordshire. It was also a lovely opportunity to connect with colleagues at neighbouring DMOs and share news with our fellow tourism marketing managers across the three counties. Held at DoubleTree by Hilton Cheltenham from 9am – 5pm on Thursday 23 January, we thoroughly enjoyed the event.

The forum was organised by the Three Counties and Cotswolds Tourism Forum Committee made up of Cotswolds Tourism, Marketing Cheltenham, Marketing Gloucester, Visit Worcestershire, Visit The Malverns, Visit Herefordshire and Visit Dean Wye.

The Gloucestershire Tourism Forum 2019

The Gloucestershire Tourism Forum 2019

We had a productive day at the Gloucestershire Tourism Forum yesterday at Kingsholm in Gloucester representing Forest of Dean and Wye Valley Tourism. There were so many brilliant insights and ideas discussed and it was lovely to see the passion our tourism stakeholders have for this fabulous county. The future is bright for tourism in Gloucestershire!

In addition to the DMOs there were a wide variety of attractions, accommodation providers, tour guides, retailers, restauranteurs and other organisations that have a stake in the Gloucestershire visitor economy to take advantage of:

  • Keynote speakers from the industry
  • Share and discuss knowledge and best practice across the sector
  • Hear about cutting edge and innovation in tourism and retail
  • Learn how small steps can make a big difference in accessible tourism
  • Top tips for working with bloggers and influencers
  • Learn about Visit Britain Discover England Fund projects in the area
  • Seminars on social media marketing, the Digital High Street and bookable products

When: Thursday 31st January 2019

Where: Kingsholm Rugby Stadium, Kingsholm Road, Gloucester, GL1 3AX

The event was run by Marketing Gloucester, Cotswolds Tourism and Forest of Dean and Wye Valley Tourism.