Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Day at the races!

Go where the pleasure is. The thrill of gaming combined with a buzzing social scene, a day at the races is much more than the mere excitement of betting. Hours and hours of hard work and dedication, the pride of the breeders, are about to put on a show of sorts, a horse race.

And what an atmosphere! Everybody rejoices in the social gathering. Radiant, elegant and classy, the race goers celebrate the occasion with a display of taste and fashion which is yet another added pleasure to the event.

Having a flutter on the horses is fun and doesn't have to be complicated

Don't be put off getting involved because you don't understand how betting works, or by other considerations like “The sport of Kings” being undoubtedly immersed in a classy, aristocratic charisma, because there is not a rigid, particular dress code for most events and racecourses and you will find an electrifying atmosphere that is enjoyed by people from all walks of life. 

Some racecourses specify “no ripped jeans or trainers in hospitality and club areas” and “no football colours” although the simple code is smart but casual, and you are advised to dress for the weather. 

You will surely enjoy your day among ladies dressed in hats and heels, trendy tweeds, the fashion lovers and the happy racing punters all throw themselves into the exhilarating fun of a race day!

Actually, the spontaneous fashion parade displayed by the race goers is so good that there is always a sponsored “Ladies Day Race” with a price for the better dressed lady. 

The jury must have a real hard time picking a winner among all these beautifully dressed ladies!

Everybody place your bet! As the horses run on the track, your heart starts pounding ever so quickly. 

Every second seems to freeze and last forever! Go stallion, go!

There’s no way of knowing in advance which horse will win, even if you “study” the horse’s past performances, or make a selection from observing the horses in the Parade Ring, so no matter what level of “expertise” you have, you will find it easy and tremendously exciting to join the crowd and have a flutter on your selected horse, using either the Totepool system or directly with the bookies.

The good weather brings an exciting horse racing season with the first “fixtures” happening as early as April.  And for the duration of the racing season, there are mid-week fixtures and evening fixtures to add to the most prominent events.

More than just races...

All kinds of partying and events go along with the races. There are special themed days, like the Ladies Day and the Family Day, interesting exhibitions like the “seasonal” Perth Wedding Exhibition, where brides can fall in love with their wedding dress from the designer cat walk, and in general, companies are keen on sponsoring horse races for the broad diffusion they enjoy, reaching so many followers.

Ayr Racecourse, Musselburgh Racecourse and Perth Racecourse

There are three major racecourses in Scotland, and since horse races in Scotland can be dated back to 1576 we can be sure they have a rich tradition behind.

The current Ayr Racecourse was opened in 1907 and the latest refurbishments were ready by 2008, making the Ayr Racecourse an outstanding premier racecourse, the biggest in Scotland.

 Ayr Racecourse is also Scotland’s premier racecourse and only Grade One track, and the home of the most prestigious races in the country.

Following in size, Musselburgh Racecourse is the second biggest racetrack in Scotland, also with a rich history, the first races in Musselburgh started in 1777. Established as one of the most stylish racecourses in Britain, only 6 miles from Edinburgh, with excellent venue hospitality and dining.

Perth Racecourse  is the northernmost racetrack in Britain. The “sport of Kings” can be traced back to 1613 in Perth. Hosting some of Scotland and UK’s most thrilling horseracing.

Upcoming fixtures

This season fixtures start as early as the Saturday 15 of April, with the Easter Saturday Raceday at Musselburgh, New to the 2017 repertoire - Easter Saturday meeting is set to be one of the biggest social events over the Easter weekend. A thrilling day of flat racing that will have your heart pounding with excitement. The raceday will feature the £100,000 Queen’s Cup. 

Following on the 21st of April, a major fixture at Ayr, the Coral Scottish Grand National Ladies’ Day. This is one of Scotland’s most iconic sporting occasions with five Class 1 races and most of Britain and Ireland’s leading jockeys and trainers competing. In addition the entertainment before, some fabulous live bands to add to the fun.

On the 26th, 27th and 28th of April, the three day Perth Festival opens the season for this racecourse, where you will find the best of British and Irish racing and a thrilling atmosphere of partying race goers, which has gained Perth Festival its well deserved reputation as one of the best days out on Scotland’s social calendar. On the first day you can also join the quality business networking from Scottish Chambers.

For thorough information on the racecourses and complete list of fixtures, you can visit the websites for the three outstanding racecourses in Scotland:

Ayr racecourse                         : http://www.ayr-racecourse.co.uk/
Musselburgh racecourse         : https://www.musselburgh-racecourse.co.uk/home
Perth racecourse                      : https://www.perth-races.co.uk/

Getting there: Have fun, a few tipples, and no hassle

A good race day can attract up to 10,000 people. Imagine how busy the car park at the venue can be. 

Now, in a fun day out at the races, would you not have a few tipples while enjoying the spectacle unfolding around you?

A hassle free arrangement to avoid queues in the car park, and to be able to enjoy a few drinks in good company, is to gather your friends and hire transport for the day. 

What advantages will result? The most obvious one is that you will avoid having to find a parking space in a crowded car park, and instead you will be dropped off by the entrance. 

And how about getting comfortable in your seat, having a chat with your friends, on the way to and from the venue?

Also, you won’t have to worry about having had a drink or two... because you won’t be driving!  The cost of the hire can be spread among the group, resulting in a very comfortable and convenient method to get to the venue and back.

A1 Coaches will pick you up at your selected pick up point and take you to your chosen destination. Just call 01592 713443 or e-mail info@a1coaches.com or visit www.a1coaches.com

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Surfing Scotland

In general, people may not think of Scotland as a surfing destination, although surfers from all over the world know well of Scotland’s immaculate beaches, wave quality and of all of the amenities available. The unspoiled natural beauty makes of Scotland a desirable destination really out of the ordinary for everyone, including surfers, and water sports lovers.

Touring and Surfing

The quality and variety of waves, winds and breathtakingly pristine, unpopulated beaches have all the ingredients for an unforgettable surfing experience. The most famous surfing locations are in the vicinity of all the treasures the land has to offer, from historic sites to astonishing geological formations passing through incredibly quaint villages and enjoying the most delicious local produce. Here are just some of the many popular surfing destinations:

Belhaven Bay, East Lothian, near Dunbar

Belhaven Bay

Belhaven Bay

With a big, wide sandy beach, with no rocks and shallow water, this is an ideal spot for beginners. Coast to Coast Surf School  offers kit hire and lessons.

Pease Bay, Borders, Scotland

Pease Bay

A versatile beach for a range of surfers and a more challenging reef for experienced surfers. Coast to Coast Surf School  offers advice and technical support.

Dunnet Bay, between Thurso and John O’Groats

Dunnet Bay

A beach that stretches for three miles on the north coast of Scotland where waves break all along. This is a recommended spot for less experienced surfers as there are easier peaks in smaller swells.

Thurso East

Thurso East

Very well known for being one of the best places for surfing waves in Europe, Thurso East has a particular wave pattern and its location in the northernmost village in mainland Britain makes of it an ideal destination to enjoy the charms of the Highlands.

Machrihanish, Mull of Kintyre

A jewel of a place for connoisseur surfers, with its famed “rivermouth peaks” in the bay, and protected surfing at the south end.

Machrihanish Bay

Westport Sandbar at the north end of Machrihanish Bay is changeable and depends on the tides but when the conditions are good, it’s worth the while.

Isle of Lewis, Outer Hebrides

The Western Isles of Scotland, the Hebrides, boast stunning clean waters and dreamlike beaches with very sought after conditions for surfers. 

Surfing in Lewis

Dalmore is a favoured spot within surfers with a good configuration that enables a lot of fun when the swell is small. When it gets rough, it will make the day for those more rugged and experienced surfers.  

Valuable advice, support and equipment hire is available at the local school of surf, Surf Lewis

Coldingham Bay

Coldingham Bay

This beautiful bay near the Scottish borders is well served by the local surfing school and shop, St Vedas Surf Shop, with surfing lessons for all ages, even groups, offering all sorts of services from accommodation to equipment hire, repairs and assorted accessories. If you’re looking to get into the exciting and fun sport of surfing, you’re at the right place.

Isle of Tiree, Inner Hebrides

This amazingly sunny island, the most westerly island of the Inner Hebrides is bathed by the Gulf Stream that makes for a milder climate than on the mainland, and sports some windy weather ideal for windsurfers.

Isle of Tiree, Pier

In October the island hosts the Tiree Wave Classic, the most prestigious and longest standing windsurfing event on the British calendar.

Isle of Tiree, Croft

An abundance of wildlife, a rich cultural heritage add up to the beautiful beaches and ideal surfing conditions.

The local surf school also offers technical support and equipment hire, well worth a visit: Suds Surf School 

Holidays in Scotland

Endless potential for an unforgettable holiday. Outdoor activities in the midst of Scotland's natural beauty, abundant wildlife and rich cultural heritage will take your holiday experience to a new level.

A1 Coaches will pick you up at the airport or your selected pick up point and take you to your chosen destination. Just call 01592 713443 or e-mail info@a1coaches.com or visit www.a1coaches.com

Monday, 20 March 2017

Revving up!

Folks got a taste for our Night Out Trips with A1 this last winter season and so we’ve shuttled groups of partying Fifers and Hen and Stag nights to Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee and St Andrews  just to name a few of the most popular destinations. Fifers like partying so we are keen on taking them party all day, all night... La gente está muy loca!

Happy customers!

Kids were over the moon with the Spooky Bus in Halloween and with our mascots Carter and Izzy over the Christmas holiday.  The Christmas Pantomime Trip to Adam Smith Theatre delighted children and adults alike, while our Elders in the community had a fantastic day on a Day Trip for the Elderly, a bonding gesture with the community in which A1 Coaches is reaching out to elderly people and encouraging them to go out on a sightseeing tour adapted to their needs where they can socialize and enjoy the fresh air in a cordial environment.

University students, holiday makers and corporate groups found their way to the airport with A1 Coaches’ Airport Transfer Service to all major airports: Edinburgh, Glasgow, Glasgow Prestwick and Aberdeen.

Brides and Grooms laced their lives together and A1 Coaches provided comprehensive transport with our Wedding Packages comprising wedding car and guests transport...

Revving up for the good weather

Upcoming Concerts and Festivals are getting us all revved up for an exciting season of upcoming events and new places to be discovered, so we have organized Concert and Festival Transport  for major upcoming events of the summer and of course, the Highland Games Transport, facilitating transport to the internationally acclaimed  Highland Games.

A colourful month

Sahara Force India Formula 1 Team unveiled their new livery, they have changed to magenta, silver and... pink, causing a big stir in tweeter by the way:

We will be very thrilled to see Perez and Ocon in their new overalls and helmets in matching colours! The point here is that all the stir and humorous comments stem from pink being a girly colour, although men these days also wear pink sometimes and it doesn’t look that bad...
James performing maintenance in his trendy overalls.
This month of March we had the International Women’s Day and Mother’s day, two important dates that we ‘celebrate’ daily, because -leading the way-, here at A1 Coaches women are everywhere!




Left to right: Colleen, Karen and  Debbie





Women driving plus women at the helm and the boys at A1 are perfectly alright with it. Well, it is true we don’t have any coach with a pink livery... yet!

Also in March this year, a Sweetheart’s 100th Birthday!

Out of respect and admiration I wanted to share that today,  the 20th March, ultra-famous war time singer Dame Vera Lynn reaches 100 year old. She was the troops’ sweetheart during World War II. Vera Lynn was born on March 20, 1917.  She is releasing a “birthday celebration” album with an orchestrated version of her biggest hits. I’m sure somebody’s grand will love to reminisce listening “We’ll meet again”, a lovely nostalgic tune by the way.

Dame Vera Lynn
Service Truck

We are very excited about all the amazing events happening this upcoming season and A1 Coaches is going the extra mile to make it all happen for you!

Do you have any ideas we haven’t thought of?  Give us a shout and we’ll take you anywhere you want to be!

Call 01592 713443 or e-mail info@a1coaches.com or visit www.a1coaches.com

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Life choices with Katrina Goodsir and the A1 journey

My story with A1 Coaches? When it all begun?  At the time, I was working part time, morning shift at Sky. My daughter Megan was already a lovely 5 year old girl and my part time job allowed me to spend more time with her. 

Spending time with my family is very important for me of course, but I am also a career centred woman, I like to share with my husband the responsibility of providing for the sustenance of the family and creating the means necessary to have a good life.

In this case, having a good life also meant finding the right balance between work and family time. I was very conscious that any time spent at work should translate into a higher quality time with my family.

During that period my mother was a key player for me to be able to accomplish all my goals: She looked after Megan when I was busy, and when it is your mother who cares about your child, you can actually have enough peace of mind as to continue doing the things that are important to you knowing that your child is in the best of hands.

Almost by coincidence I started doing a part time afternoon shift with A1 Coaches. In those times, Colleen was all by herself at the office, and she welcomed having someone to help her out with the ever increasing workload.  It had been Ian, my father in law, to arrange for me to work with A1 as a part timer. It was very rewarding for me to be working along with my husband, as it was rewarding to be working on the family’s business.

My daughter Megan was quickly growing up, and so was the family business. It soon became clear that I could take on full time hours with A1.  So I left my job with Sky and started full time with A1, somewhere between 8 to 10 hours a day. As a wife I couldn’t be happier: I was spending 24 hours with my husband.  With the company premises being so close to my home, there was no commuting time to worry about. 

The family business was flourishing and you had to put the hours in if you wanted to reap the rewards.  I am very grateful to both my mother and daughter for their understanding; they have greatly contributed to my success.

My mother was my angel, thanks to her I was able to plough on with the work. Having me spend more hours away to work was not something my daughter Megan favoured, although she was a very understanding child and she took on well spending more time with her grandma during the week, like she understood I was working for a greater good. 

And the rewards of these past ten years are there for all to see: My daughter Megan has turned into a woman and is now pursuing her own career; the company has flourished and continues to thrive.
I look forward to the Friday night when I gather with my family, my kids, my grandkids for our Friday Family Dinner.

I have found a way to balance out my personal and professional lives; I have quality time to spend with the family, time to myself too: I devote some time to fitness so I regularly attend the gym and spend more time cooking healthier foods.

It’s been a long journey since I started almost ten years ago with A1 Coaches, but I look forward to watching the company grow even more for the next ten years, and then I will retire early and go travel the world with my husband in our motor home.

I see Pop Goodsir in the mural every morning when I come in the office... he’s smiling...  I smile back at him and start a new day!

Transport to 80's Rewind Festival at Scone Palace 2017

Concert to Ed Sheran Concert at SSE Hydro, Glasgow

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

A spell on you.

Edinburgh. I can never get enough of the capital city. The magnetic attraction this city exerts upon me is astonishing, as if telluric forces would draw me to eagerly weave through grandiose squares, solemn stone buildings, cobbled pavements, wynds, and alleys, invoking the literary past that has inspired over 500 novels since the times of R.L. Stevenson's Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde story to Irvine Welsh's Trainspotting film.

 R.L. Stevenson

Literary legends have dwelled in the city and so have the characters of their literary creations. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, writer of Sherlock Holmes stayed in Edinburgh; Robert Louis Stevenson, author of Jekyll and Hyde and Treasure Island, was born in Edinburgh. Sir Walter Scott, best known by his Ivanhoe and Rob Roy and Robert Burns, Scotland’s national bard also lived and worked in this city of magnetic appeal to the creative minds.

Sir Walter Scott

It wouldn’t come as a surprise then when Edinburgh was granted the title of City of Literature by UNESCO back in 2004, and the city today is a living centre of artistic creation.

Edinburgh Academy, George Watson's Ladies College, Fettes College, James Gillespie's School for Girls have educated and inspired authors, with famous literary characters having ‘studied’ in Edinburgh, like Muriel Spark's Miss Jane Brodie and Ian Fleming's James Bond.

Edinburgh Academy

George Watson's Ladies College

The literary presence and heritage of Edinburgh is symbolized perfectly by the monument to Sir Walter Scott, and those who arrive at Waverly Station (named after Sir Walter Scott’s Waverly) into Princes Street are welcomed by this Victorian monument to the prominent Scottish historical novelist, playwright and poet.

Princes Street with monument to Sir Walter Scott

In modern times Sir Walter Scott would be a truly Edinburgh Makar, a newly adopted title for the Poet Laureate in our modern age Edinburgh City of Literature. The Scots word makar means ‘one who fashions, constructs, produces, prepares, etc.’ according to the Dictionary of the Scots Language. In the context of literature, a skilled, versatile worker in the craft of writing is a ‘makar’.

Literary destinations, useful links.

Celebrating writers, we have literary destinations like Makars Court, at the top of the Royal Mile, a courtyard with carved paving stones dedicated to writers from the 14th century to the present day.

You can find here The Writers Museum, containing portraits and the works of some of Scotland’s great writers including Robert Burns and Robert Louis Stevenson.

Lady Stair's House, The Writer's Museum

Scottish Storytelling centre
The Scottish Storytelling Centre, also in the Royal Mile, with its modern architecture in contrast to its historical counterparts.  An award winning public building, it includes a theatre, book and gift shop and storytelling café.   It runs a full program of events for those wishing to cultivate their storytelling, music-making, singing and dancing skills.

The Scottish Poetry Library  welcomes budding poets and has an extensive range of poetry books and leaflets, regularly hosting poetry evenings.

Scottish Poetry Library

The National Library of Scotland is Scotland’s largest library situated on George IV Bridge.  Hosting world-class collections, it is a major research library. The library runs a regular program of talks, workshops and events.

National Library of Scotland

Literary Tours Edinburgh

Entertaining and amusing, here are several links that bring Edinburgh’s literary appeal and impressive scenery together:

For a start, having a look to the Edinburgh City of Literature  website will give us an overview of the latest events and tours.

A popular, informative and entertaining one is the Edinburgh literary pub tour, conducted by professional actors.

The Ian Rankin’s Rebus Tour  explores Edinburgh through the perspective of the fictional character of Rankin’s books.

Edinburgh Book Lover’s Tour  covers 500 years and penetrates the capital’s ancient wynds, closes and graveyards.  From historical writers to modern writers, the timeline of literary history is fully appreciated in this tour.

The Scottish Parliament Literature Tour introduces visitors to its connections with literature over the years from renowned, historical writers to today's popular authors.

Scottish Parliament

The Edinburgh International Book Festival in August is an absolute must for literary fans and a highlight of the year.

Edinburgh buzzes with life at every corner, exhilarating to your senses, and your imagination runs wild among the characters and spirits of the unfathomable number of stories that have and will take place is this wonderful eternal city.

You are always close to  Edinburgh with A1 Coaches. Plan your day out with us, just call 01592 713443 or e-mail info@a1coaches.com or visit www.a1coaches.com