Wednesday, 22 December 2010

AA Christmas & New Year Opening Hours

This festive season, the AA team will be here in the office as usual to answer any questions that you have right up until 2.00pm on Christmas Eve.

The office will also be open daily between Christmas and New Year (29th, 30th and 31st December from 10am till 3.30pm).

During this period, you can always drop us an email at and one of the team will contact you as soon as possible when the office re-opens.

Bluebells & Beeches photography day workshop in the Cotswolds

Why not join Leigh Preston whilst he explores the south Cotswolds photographing the bluebells and beech trees. The area just outside Gloucester provides a wonderful opportunity to develop your landscape photography and Leigh is simply one of the best tutors to learn from.

So why not book one of the spaces on this highly sought after course for yourself or even a friend or family member as a gift.

Tales of the Riverbank Day workshop with Jonathan Perugia, now available

Fancy a day exploring the South Bank of London with an expert photography tutor and your camera? Well, we could just be able to provide you with exactly the itinerary that you have been looking for.

On Saturday 19th March, Jonathan Perugia, one of our fantastic photography tutors will be leading a small group of photographers along this area of the River Thames. The aim of the course is to help people to get to grips with their cameras and learn how to take some creative images of the city's buildings, people and reflections.

A place on the course is just £85 per person, but places are limited.

A typical day will start at 9.30am and finish at around 4.30pm with a stop being made for lunch (not included in the price) along the way.

For more information about the course, tutor or availability, please contact us on 01453 823328 or by visiting our website

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Bosham Photography Day Course with Paul Sansome now available !

We are pleased to announce that our senior tutor, Paul Sansome will be running the first photography day workshop of the year on Saturday 12th March at Bosham, near Chichester.

The beautiful village of Bosham will pose as the backgroup for this day's course and the stunning Millstream Hotel and Restaurant will act as our base.

The course is designed to provide you with an introduction to the key features of your digital SLR so that you can start creating amazing photographs.

For more information, please give us a call in the office or have a look at our website:

Places are limited and the price for the day including tea and coffee is just £85 per person.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

If your traveling to the United States have you got your ESTA?

If your travelling the United States with us - have you applied
for a ESTA?

As a UK passport holder (or holder of a non UK passport whose country participates in the USA's Visa Waiver Programme) you need to have a valid ESTA before you can travel to the US.

This authorisation must be applied for in advance otherwise you will not be permitted to board your flight. The Esta is the new system that allows the Department of Homeland Security and U.S Custom and Board Protection Department to check passengers before they are able to board a flight.

The process is simple, all you have to do is log on to the following website - and complete the online form.

One form needs to be completed for each travelling person and there is a fee of £9 or $14 per application. Your authorisation will then be valid for any trips taken to the US within a two year period from the date of issue.

To complete the form you will need to have a valid email address and credit card, personal details from you passport, details of the flight that you are taking to the US, your address where you will be staying and any details of illnesses or criminal convictions that may prevent you from being allowed to enter the country.

Once you have completed the form you will need to make a note of your application number and make payment. Once your application has been processed you will need to print a copy of the authorisation and it is recommended that you take a copy of this document with you when you travel.

For more information, please look at the follow website - or call us in the office on 01453 823328

Walking in Santorini now available on the 20th September 2011 !

A second week of Walking in Santorini has now been opened for sale, to coincide with the extra Painting date added back in October.

Places are limited as Santorini appears to be the hot spot of the summer so if you are interested in joining this date, please contact the office.

The lovely Stefano Spinetti will be your guide on this week's walking adventure so you will of course be in the best of hands, all be it Italian ones!

Roger Jones is exhibiting at the Mall Galleries, as part of the Royal Institute of Oil Painters autumn exhibition series.

Roger has contributed to many exhibitions across the UK this year including those in Gloucestershire, Hertfordshire, Hampshire and London independently and as part of major exhibitions for the Royal Society of Marine Artists (RSMA) and the Royal Institute of Oil Painters (ROI) in London.

He currently has a painting on show at the Mall Galleries in London and the exhibition will run from 8th December through to 18th December. Roger's work is also being shown at:
  • Until Christmas at The Davina Philips Gallery, Wells in the Field Farm, Whitchurch, Hants, RG28 7NQ (01256)892460.

  • From November 26 to December 19 at the HAWKER GALLERY, Old Amersham. 01494 724850.

  • From November 26 to Christmas at The Wykeham Gallery, Stockbridge, Hants.

Why not escape the madness of the Christmas preparations and visit one of these galleries to see some of Roger's work?

For more details of these specific events, please contact Roger directly on 01453 763210.

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

A Very Merry Christmas & Best Wishes for the New Year, from the AA team !

On behalf of everyone at AA, that’s John and the office team, our tutors and our back up staff, we would like to wish everyone a very Happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year.

We sincerely hope that everyone has a fantastic festive season and thank you for your continued support in 2010. May 2011 bring everyone happiness and good fortune.


Looking for a Christmas Present for a loved one - why not treat them to an AA Gift Voucher !

Having trouble finding a great Christmas present for a loved one this year?
Why not treat them to an Authentic Adventures gift voucher!

We can provide you with gift vouchers in any denomination that can used as part or full payment for one of our holidays or day courses.

If you would like more information or to purchase your gift vouchers, please call us on 01453 823328

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Diana May Joins the AA team !

We are pleased to confirm that we have a new member of the team. Diana (known as Di) joined us on the 16th November as Office Administrator.

Whilst Di is new to the travel industry she has lots of administration experience and we are confident that she will make a wonderful edition to our team.


Monday, 15 November 2010

Did you come and visit us at the Country Living Show !

This four day, Country Living Show, at the Business Design Centre, Islington gave us a great opportunity not only to meet some of our experienced travellers but also to speak to many people who had never thought about a Painting / Photography/ Walking or Singing Holiday.

Paul Sansome, also had a stand where he was exhibiting some of his fantastic photographs.

If you did stop by our stand, thank you for your time.


Tuesday, 2 November 2010

A once in a lifetime chance to escape the January blues and take a Painting or Walking Trip to India!

You could save a massive £600 per person* on the painting trip or £460 per person* on the walking holiday – an amazing one time price of £1985 per person.

Due to a collection of unusual events including several provisional bookings being cancelled for health reasons and our failure to include the holidays in the 2010 brochure, we are reducing the price of the Painting and Walking trips starting on the 15th January 2011.

The holidays are 14 nights duration, visit four stunning locations in the Kerala region of India and include flights with Emirates (from London Heathrow). Also included are 13 nights full board en-suite accommodation, all transport and 8 full days and 3 half days of either painting tuition or guided walking with our local guide.

These unique offers will be on a first come first served basis. Payment for the deposit needs to be paid immediately by bank transfer or credit /debit card and final balance no later than the 20th November.

*Based on brochure price and 2 people sharing. This offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other promotion or discount
* please note that visa’s will be required to visit India and the costs of these visa’s are not included in the price of the holiday

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Extra Santorini date added due to demand for Painting in Greece

Following the overwhelming interest in Roger Jones’ trip to the stunning Greek island of Santorini in September 2011 we have decided to add another date to the programme.

Places are already limited on Roger’s trip on the 27th September, so another holiday has been arranged for the week before – Tuesday 20th September for just £1289 per person.

If you would like more details, please have a look at our web page –
or call us in the office for more details.

Friday, 22 October 2010

Visit Christine Russell at her Set in Stone 2010 Studio Exhibition

Christine is holding a Studio Exhibition "Set in Stone 2010" at her studio in Stone, Gloucestershire from Saturday 13th – Sunday 28th November (Open daily 10 -4) 2010, why not pop along.

Located just off the A38 towards Gloucester (2 miles north of J14, M5). For more detailed directions look for `Russell Fine Art Services' on Google Maps.

A small selection of pictures can be viewed on Christine's website and are available for purchase prior to the exhibition.

For details please contact: Christine or Claire Russell. The Laurels Studio, Stone, Nr. Berkeley, Gloucestershire, GL13 9LD. Tel: 01454 269268 or Email:

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Come and Meet New Tutors, Fiona Peart & Terry Harrison at Art Materials Live, at NEC Birmingham

Two of our new Painting Tutors, Terry Harrison and Fiona Peart will be demonstrating and exhibiting at this years' Art Materials Live, at the Birmingham NEC on 4-7th November, why not pop along and meet them. Hall 20 Stand P19.

Terry and Fiona will be running two holidays for us in 2011 -

15 May 2011 – Taroudant & 10 September 2011 - Tuscany

Both trips are 7 nights in duration and the price of the holidays includes tuition, accommodation, breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Terry will be teaching beginners whilst Fiona will be tutoring with all levels.

If you buy a ticket for the Art Materials Live show, you automatically get free entrance to the Hobby Crafts and Crafts & Gifts for Xmas Shows that are taking place at the same time. For full details visit

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

The 2011 brochure hits the printers!

Our eagerly anticipated 2011 brochure is now at the printers and should be winging its way to you at the beginning of next week!

Some holidays like Roger Jones’ trip to Santorini on 27th September is already filling up and places are now limited, so if there is something that takes your fancy why not provisionally hold a space now to avoid disappointment

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Love show tunes ? Then join Juliet Arthur singing the classics in Gozo

New for 2011 we are introducing a singing trip to Gozo where the songs that are sung will all be show tune classics. (19th June for seven nights)

Whether you love Mamma Mia, are mad about Phantom or think Chicago is Wicked ! this could be the holiday for you.

Based in a beautiful hotel right on the water's edge, on the stunning and quiet Island of Gozo you will be part of a group that may just have a "Jolly Holiday" (Mary Poppins)

For more details of all our singing holidays, follow the link below

Come visit us at the Country Living Christmas Fair - 10-14th November, London !

We will be attending this years Country Living Christmas Fair, from 10-14th November, at the Business Design Centre, London, so if you are looking for an unusual Christmas present or want a fabulous day out, why not pop along and see us.

We will be on stand P97 on the Mezzanine level, whilst our very own Paul Sansome will have his own stand exhibiting some of his amazing photographs.

Opening times of the Fair are:

Wednesday 10th November - 10am - 6pm (then 6.30pm - 9pm Gala evening)

Thursday 11th November - 10am - 6pm

Friday 12th November - 9.30am - 6pm

Saturday 13th November - 9.30am - 6pm

Sunday 14th November - 10am - 3pm

For more details including ticket prices please visit, or call the ticket hotline on 0844 848 0152

Our 2011 Brochure is on its way and here's a sneeky peek at the cover !

John is in the final stages now of completing the brochure and it should be available for the end of October.

Some of the new holidays are already live on our website but here's a sneeky peek at this years brochure cover !


Monday, 13 September 2010

Marielle James, moves on to pastures new !

Sadly Marielle has decided to leave AA and her last day in the office will be Friday 1st October.

We want to warmly thank her for all her hard work during her time at AA and wish her all the best for the future.

So watch this space for a new member of the team !

Saturday, 4 September 2010

The Summer Newsletter is on its way !

It's that time of year again, and the Summer 2010 Newsletter is on its way.

As always its packed full of tempting snippets of new locations we are hoping to introduce in 2011, plus a list of dates, locations and prices to whet your appetite.

In addition, we will be introducing six new painting tutors and one new photography tutor including David Lawrence who will be taking groups to Botswana.

If you have not received a printed copy and would like one, please drop us an email at

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

New Loyalty Discount Scheme launched for 2011 holidays!

For all 2011 holidays, a new Loyalty Discount scheme has been launched as we simply don’t feel that we have been rewarding those clients who have chosen to travel with us time and time again.

With this in mind, for all bookings for 2011 onwards the following scheme will be in place.

Any clients who have travelled with us at least once before will receive a discount of 10% off all future holidays booked.

Any clients who have travelled with us 8 times or more will receive a discount of 15% off all future holidays booked.

The discount will apply to every booking made so if you travel twice a year with us you will get 10 or 15% off each holiday.

The discount will apply on the basic holiday price, single supplements, room upgrade / supplement, room discounts, non participating partners, flight reductions and more than one week booked together.

The discount can not be used in conjunction with any other offer, unless specifically agreed prior to the booking being made and will not be applicable on extra nights booked, flights and other transport booked, credit and debit card charges, visa and other booking fees, compensation or payments for photographs used.

If you are one of the clients who were near to the target of getting a half price holiday under our previous discount scheme, we don't want you to feel cheated. Therefore if you have 4 or 5 holidays already in the bank then we will honour these and give you your 6th holiday with 50% discount off the basic price – as in the current situation. You must however take your 6th holiday before 1st January 2012. There will be no cash alterative to this discount.

More details can be found on our website - or of course call us in the office for further details.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Singing in Abruzzo with Faith Watson

Our singing group lead by the fantastic Faith Watson, and featured in Louise Roddon's article for the Times on 2nd February 2010 has just returned.

Whilst sadly no bears or wolves were spotted on this trip, the weather was kind and the company (as always) was spectacular. Jonathan Burt accompanied the group and has made a wonderful film of the trip. To watch the full version, simply follow the link below:

The holiday was such a success that a number of clients have already secured places on Faith's trip to Kerala, India in November this year or Taroudant, Morocco in April 2011.

Monday, 19 July 2010

AA @ Art In Action

Linda and Marielle attended this year's Art in Action event, held this weekend, in Oxfordshire.

Another great opportunity to show people what we have to offer, where we go and with the aid of Brian Smith's wonderful demonstrations we received quite a lot of attention.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Marielle spends a day with Roger Jones Painting in the Cotswolds

Marielle has spent the day painting in the Cotswolds with Roger Jones and a small group of painters, in the stunning Cotswolds village of Castle Combe. Famed for being the main film location for the classic 1967 film Dr Dolittle staring Rex Harrison and more recently one of the sets for Stardust starring Michelle Pfeiffer and Ian McKellen.

Whilst the weather wasn't as picture perfect as the surroundings, the teaching and company were first class.

Saturday, 19 June 2010

Paul Sansome's group's Icelandic Adventure

Whilst everyone else was fed up up with hearing about the Icelandic Volcano, a group of our photographers have been preparing for a trip of a lifetime - one where they are likely to experience Iceland like no-one has seen it before.

On their seven night trip around the southern part of the Island, the photographers saw stunning waterfalls, hot springs, geysers, seascapes and local wildlife.

The trip was so successful, that we hope to return in 2011 and perhaps even include a second trip to the Northern part of the Island, where we may be lucky enough to witness Aurora Borealis !

Monday, 14 June 2010

AA @ Patchings Art Festival 2010

From 10th - 13th June, Linda attended Patchings’ Art Craft and Design Festival, in Calverton, Nottinghamshire for the first time.

What a great chance we had to introduce our holidays and our new name to so many avid painters and artists. With over 150 exhibitors who were all demonstrating, exhibiting and selling their work this was a really inspirational and enjoyable event. Plus we had a chance to meet some of our existing and potential clients.

Brian Smith demonstrated on the stall on one day showing the calibre of tutors that we have working for us and it also gave us an opportunity to find one or two new tutors to run our 2011 holidays.


Monday, 7 June 2010

Leigh Preston leads his first group to stunning Santorini

This is a truly unique place - set in the Blue Aegean sea with an amazing Island community build on the edge of a Volcanic Caldera. With it's special light, vernacular architecture and wonderful Greek food, local culture and truly iconic photography locations, what more could you ask for.

By all accounts, with top class tuition and aided by local guide Takis, who himself was full of character and demonstrated the kind of excellent local knowledge that you have come to expect from AA staff, a memorable time was had by all, a highlight being a lunchtime barbecue with local school children at one of the beachside villages.

The holiday was so well received that we plan to do it all again in 2011 - but places will be limited, so if you are interested, please register your interest now by calling 01453 823328.

Saturday, 29 May 2010

Stefano Spinetti's Archaeological Adventure

After travelling for just one hour from Rome, our group of seven hardy walkers and their charismatic leader and guide Stefano Spinetti, have revelled in the history in this stunning region of Italy. With an aim to discover on foot some of the ancient Etruscan history, wherever possible , in its natural environment and away from the fences and formalities that typify historic sites.

With good company, food and accommodation set in the heart of the Bracciano natural park, this holiday has been hailed an outstanding success, so much so a repeat trip is now being planned for October 2011.

If you are interested in joining Stefano on this trip next year, register your interest now, as places are very limited.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Linda & Jonathan go to Menorca for our first Painting & Walking Trip to the island

Linda and Jonathan travelled out to Menorca to experience the first of our new holidays to Menorca.

A combined holiday location where clients can enjoy grade 3 walking or painting (on this occasion with Brian Smith).

Holidays to the outstandingly pretty Island of Menorca are planned in both the Spring and Summer, with availability still being available for our trip later in the year.

Sunday, 18 April 2010

The Iceland Ash Cloud grounds flights

Having lain dormant for almost 200 years until last month, the volcano beneath the Eyjafjallajokull glacier, 120 km east of Reykjavik, erupted resulting in airports across the UK and Europe being closed and hundreds of planes being grounded.

Sadly, two of our holidays have been affected, these being Guy Edwardes' Photography trip to Tuscany (starting on the 27th April) and Mo Teeuw's painting trip to Taroudant in Morocco (due to start on the 18th April).

Guy has managed to continue with his course, as two of his guests were able to make their own way to the hotel.

We hope that both of the tutors will be able to reschedule their trips for 2011.

Monday, 29 March 2010

John features in 101 Holidays Article

John has been interviewed for 101 holiday ideas "meet the boss" feature.

The website, which is written by two of the UK's leading travel writers David Wickers and Mark Hodson, is a great place to research and book holidays.

Its a real honour to be included on this site, as each of the travel companies recommended appear by invitation only.

If you are interested in reading the piece, please click the link below:

Jonathan Burt joins the Painters and Photographers in Taroudant, Morocco

Jonathan Burt joined Roger Jones, Jonathan Perugia and eighteen clients in Taroudant, Morocco for a week of Photography and Painting.

Based for the majority of the holiday at the beautiful Palais Salam, a former governor's palace with parts that date back to the 16th Century, the trip really offered something for everyone thanks to the hard work and efforts of husband and wife team Alice and Ali.

If you want to see the Painting and Photography footage, click the link below:

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Jonathan Burt joins the team

In connection with University of the West of England (UWE) Graduate internship we are lucky enough to have Jonathan Burt joining us for 8 weeks to help us film and make some promotional footage for us on our website in the future.

Jonathan graduated from the UWE, Bristol after studying all aspects of the film/broadcasting industry and in particular operating broadcast quality cameras, sound designing, editing and producing. He worked on over fifteen documentary and drama productions and also filmed live events during his three years at UWE.

During his time with us Jonathan will be taking part in some of our Painting, Photography, Walking and singing holidays to obtain footage and to get a feel for what is involved in an Authentic Adventure.


Friday, 12 February 2010

AA have relocated to The Wheelhouse, Stonehouse

We are pleased to announce that yesterday we finally moved into our New office at The Wheelhouse, Bonds Mill, Stonehouse - Just a stone's throw from the M5.

If you are passing Junction 13 of the M5 at any point and want to pop in and say Hello, please do as the door is always open and the tea / coffee is always flowing !

The move was also featured twice in The South West Business Magazine - to read the article follow the link below:

John and the Team

Monday, 8 February 2010

Authentic Adventurers at the AITO "Meet the Press Conference"

John and Linda attended the AITO "Meet the Press" conference in January 2010, held at the Brewery, London.

As one of the newest members of AITO, we received quite a lot of attention from the press, and the introduction of singing holidays certainly seems to be creating quite a stir.

You can listen to Alistair McKenzie's ( interview with John Brough.

Sunday, 31 January 2010

The Photographers Arrive in Cochin

Following the success of the Painting and Walking adventure that left the UK on the 16th January, a group of Photographers, lead by our senior photography tutor, Paul Sansome has now arrived in Cochin, for their four centre trip.

Paul will be returning to Kerala in January 2011 whilst Jonathan Perugia will be leading a group in November 2010. Spaces are limited, so please contact us on 01453 823328 for availability.