The sun shone as I waved goodbye to the ‘Mary Rose’ and headed up the M27 for 8.7 miles to my first operator (1). There, I heard how the white coaches with a sweeping black and orange arch, transport the local football team’s fans. Play up Pompey!
I head north-west & then south-west for 49 minutes, arriving at a depot (2) full of cream-coloured coaches & “…the exception” written under the company name. They’re sponsoring ‘The Trojans’, but I was tempted to visit the Oceanarium.
I took to the A350 to reach the operator (3) with maroon – or white & maroon – Irizar & Vanhool TX16 Acron coaches, whose name makes you think of a supplier to ships and boats, although their depot is nowhere near the sea. Tours to Transylvania & Austria’s Eagle’s Nest caught the eye.
Go west, young man, I thought, so having first headed north, I did, driving over the Second Severn River Crossing to head to the operator (4) that’s in possession of a Large Coach Operator of the Year 2017 Award.
My next stop saw me in Henley-in-Arden, with the operator (5) that has what you could describe as ‘yellow-bellied coaches with blue waves’. I was tempted to board The Bard’s Bus!
After a 35-minute drive to operator (6), orange coaches, emblazoned with a man’s name in blue awaited me. This firm has won Disney’s Coach Operator of the Year Award and a Disney Lifetime Achievement Award & is just 22 minutes from where ‘Coach & Bus UK’ is held!


I headed northeast for 2 hours and 7 minutes, passing through Newark & Lincoln to ‘hunt down’ a coach operator (7) with 5 letters in its name (written in red and blue on its white coaches). It has, ‘Door to Door Holidays’, in its livery.
After that, I dropped in for a cuppa with a specialist bus and coach insurance broker (8) that ‘Goes the Extra Mile’ & is based in Leeds!
To visit Operator (9) I drove to the town that’s home to Norton Priory Museum. The firm has acquired Yates Tours, Starline Travel, Hardings Tours & Haytons of Manchester over the years & has a flag motif in green, orange and blue.
Operator (10) is in the same town & now has: “The Legend continues” within its livery, to honour its founder. This multi award-winning operator has pale purple coaches and orange lettering.
Onwards & upwards to Chorley, where I noticed that the coach holiday operator (11) has sunshine, sea & seagulls in its logo.
Travelling north up the M6 for 98.2 miles, to where Melvyn Bragg is ‘Lord’, I reach the operator (12) that transports Carlisle, Burnley, Fleetwood Town, Morecambe & Accrington football players to matches & took Blackpool FC to Wembley last year.
All that remains is for me to satisfy my love of Roman history by driving just over 38 miles via the A595 and A69 to a place with famous ‘Writing Tablets’. But where is my last point of call?