YMCA175 DISCOVERY VISITS
Experience a distinctive mix of discovery visits planned for you by local YMCAs across the UK. Each visit will offer something different, see different cities outside London like Birmingham and Belfast or spend time in the english countryside in East of England and Dulverton, each as fascinating offering lots of culture and history.
You could take the opportunity to visit Scotland’s breathtaking views of wild landscapes, mist shrouded mountains and rolling hills that go on for miles. Visits that include a fascinating history and natural beauty. You’ll get a first hand experience of YMCAs work in the UK and a chance to connect with young people we work with.
Denise Hatton, YMCA England & Wales CEO, said “YMCA England & Wales is excited to host thousands of delegates from around the world for YMCA175 this summer, in the city where it all began. Sitting alongside the main event, and hosted and organised by local YMCAs, the YMCA175 Discovery Visits are a great way to see the community enriching work which takes place with young people across the country.”
The visits take place both before and after YMCA175 and last between 2-4 days. You can find available visits at YMCA175’s Eventbrite page.
The visits are an optional opportunity to visit local YMCAs in the UK before and after YMCA175 takes place. These visits, at an additional cost to YMCA175 registration, are hosted and exclusively organised by local YMCAs for YMCA175 delegates and aim to extend contextual knowledge of YMCA’s work, develop skills and expand networks, to advance global partnerships.
YMCA Ireland Craic & Culture
29 July – 2 August – £490.95
Experience a land rich in history, landscapes and unique in cultural traditions. A trip which gives an informative and first hand experience of Northern Ireland’s history and heritage.
During your trip, you can explore some of the most important areas affected by the troubles a significant part of Northern Ireland’s history, including a visit to Derry City Walls and a guest speakers first hand account of their experience during this time.
YMCA has been a part of Northern Ireland for over 115 years, the trip will enable you to hear from young people past and present and see the impact YMCA has had in the local community.
A visit of Culture in the East of England
31 July – 4 August – £437.65
Close to London, but with some most beautiful rural areas and plenty of UK heritage on offer, East Anglia will make a great Discovery Visit. Taking in Norwich, Cambridge and Essex, you will see three of the oldest YMCAs in the country as well as some great architecture and impactful YMCA work.
See Norwich, proud capital of the area; Cambridge, the historic university city; and Chelmsford, the oldest town in England and county town of Essex.
Part of your stay will include an overnight stop in the halls of world renowned Cambridge University.
The Jewell of the North East
1 – 4 August – £384.45
Explore Newcastle, a vibrant city in the North East of England famous for its world class culture, inspiring heritage and acclaimed architecture and famous for its local Geordie spirit.
From Coast to quayside Newcastle boasts a fascinating and diverse landscape with a culturally rich city with an opportunity to spend time at Newcastle’s stunning beaches.
Highlights include an opportunity to learn to surf and BBQ on the beach, experience youth project SPACE2, and find out about YMCA Newcastle’s newest social enterprise ‘Urban Mushrooms’.
Discover Watford: Home of Harry Potter & cosmopolitan city
1 – 4 August – £224.45
On the outskirts of north London, experience beautiful natural settings of the outer London greenbelt, Watford city centre and some interesting local houses including Bhaktivedanta Manor, which was originally donated by the former Beatles member, George Harrison to the Harikrishna movement.
Watford Palace Theatre which first opened in 1908 gives you the feeling of going back in time and a sense of historical importance. Warner Brothers Studio is also close by and is a must for Harry Potter fans. Fortunately, a visit to the Studio is included in this tour!
The Gateway to London
31 July – 4 August – £416.33
Experience communities in East London, adjacent to where YMCA175 will take place, with YMCA Thames Gateway, named after the famous river that cuts through the centre of the country’s capital.
Visitors and tourists to London may only ever explore the City centre but for those that care to travel further east, a rich in culture and atmosphere. So much of London’s history owes a debt to the East End.
Colourful characters, famous architecture, hidden treasures of changing life over the years.
The Heart of England
31 July – 4 August – £426.99
Experience a warm West Midlands welcome from YMCAs in the Heart of England.
Britain’s second largest city, Birmingham is famous for having more miles of canal than Venice and more public parks than any equivalent city in Europe. It is also home to the world-famous Cadbury’s chocolate factory. The neighbouring ‘Black Country’ – so called because the air was reputed to be black with soot from factories and smokestacks – was once part of Britain’s industrial heartland.
YMCA Birmingham and YMCA Black Country are delighted to welcome YMCA colleagues from across the world to the West Midlands
Experience the North West of England: The Wirral, Liverpool and St Helens
31 July – 4 August – £224.45
Experience communities in the north west of England including Liverpool, Sefton, Wirral and St Helens, showcasing unique approaches to engaging with young people local YMCAs support including horticulture and motor mechanics,
These communities are famous for The Beatles, Liverpool cathedral, Liver Bird statues, home to the River Mersey, and greatly influenced by the Industrial Revolution – which itself contributed to the birth of YMCA.
Highlights include a “Ferry Across The Mersey” sightseeing cruise, community meal at YMCA Wirral, attend a Celebration and Thanksgiving Service, watch a local rugby game and tour of YMCA Liverpool’s Dutch Farm Project, including a British Afternoon Cream Tea.
Lakeside to Seaside
8 August – 12 August – £490.95
Based at YMCA Lakeside, which is situated in The Lake District. This is one of England’s National Parks, and home to lake Windermere, which is the country’s largest lake.
This Discovery Visit brings together team building activities, seaside resorts, YMCA projects, and the great outdoors.
This part of England is famous for being the home of Beatrix Potter, the English ‘stick of rock’, kiss-me-quick hats, rolling hills, picturesque countryside, lakes, forests and mountains. It is also the home of the famous English poet, William Wordsworth.
Experience the West Country; Sir George Williams’ birthplace
8 – 10 August – £245.77
Experience the birthplace and region where our founder, Sir George Williams, grew up and worked, in the west country.
Famous for its stunning views across open countryside, sandy beaches, Cheddar cheese and cider, Glastonbury Festival and Arthurian Legends.
Highlights of this Discovery Visit will include visit Sir George Williams birth town of Dulverton, staying at the Beach Hotel, a YMCA run hospitality social enterprise for young apprentices and a tour of ‘YMCA George Williams Centre’, experiencing day camps in progress.
Tour the English Seaside & an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
8 August – 10 August – £245.77
Never more than an hour away from London, experience the beautiful South Downs National Park, the iconic seaside town of Brighton and experience the quintessential villages in the English countryside.
Famous for its English heritage evidence of the earliest inhabitants of England which dates back 500,000 years. The Battle of Hastings took place here in 1066, a battle for the throne of England. Brighton Pavilion was built as a seaside pleasure palace for King George IV.
Highlights include a visit to the new inclusive sports facility for children and young people, trip on i360 and to Brighton Pavillion (tourist attractions), learn about YMCA campaigning and influencing work.
Enjoy Scotland: Natural Beauty, Edinburgh Fringe & St Andrews
8 – 11 August – £267.09
Scotland is a beautiful country famous for its breathtaking views of wild landscapes, mist shrouded mountains and rolling hills that go one for miles.
A country with a fascinating history dating back to the first century well known for kilts, bagpipes whiskey and of course haggis.
Highlights include a day at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, a trip to St Andrews one of Scotland’s famous towns with spectacular beaches, the fascinating museums, and a vibrant arts and cultural scene; visit local youth projects including a youth café and experience a ‘Ceilidh’ a Scottish themed evening with traditional food, dance and music hosted in the Glenrothes Community Centre.
The Wales Way
8 – 11 August – £458.97
Take this opportunity to sample Welsh life, meet with Welsh people, find out more about the history of the YMCA in Wales and experience cultural, historical and heritage sites across South Wales.
South Wales is famous for its amazing beaches (Rhossili Beach near Swansea has ranked as one of the best beaches in the world), wonderful scenery, rich history, industrial heritage and famous for Barry Island, featured in the popular UK tv series, Gavin and Stacey.
Highlights include visiting YMCAs throughout South Wales including YMCA Swansea and YMCA Cardiff; formal reception with local Councillors, Assembly Members and Members of Parliament and visit Cardiff Bay, The Senedd – Wales’ Parliament, and landmark Pier Head Building.
Explore London and the Largest UK YMCA
8 – 10 August – £277.75
Just a short distance from central London, St Paul’s Group is now the largest YMCA in the UK, with sites in South West London and East London.
Aptly named after the Cathedral where Sir George William’s is laid to rest, it is made up of local branches across the city. It is situated very close to the palace of Henry VIII, Hampton Palace and also runs an original Lido – an outdoor swimming pool where families would picnic in the sun before easy travel made family holidays more accessible.