Whoever said 'failure to prepare is preparation for failure' clearly never experienced the thrill of being spontaneous. While it's all very commendable to plan things months and years in advance, sometimes it's just wonderfully liberating to make a snap decision. Never more so than with planning holidays. Luckily we know the best of last minute availability around the UK & Ireland for anyone who has yet to book their trip and with the pound still weak against the dollar there is no better time to book!

Cliveden House

Cliveden House is one of our favourite hotels - perfect for guests arriving into Heathrow airport as it is only a 40 minute drive away! However when you pull up to the hotel's sweeping drive you feel a million miles from the hustle and bustle of London. With views over National Trust gardens and the meandering river Thames there is a lovely sense of rest and relaxation. Their newly reopened and refurbished spa, hidden behind a secret garden, is a real oasis. The perfect retreat for anyone in need of a relaxing break - especially as they have last minute availability for dates in August.

London Quest

Original Travel have partnered exclusively with one of London's most imaginative and energetic party planners for private treasure hunts and quests across the city. Stimulating, fun and educational adventures are the perfect way for all the family to get to know London. Race across the city to save the Queen's birthday presents from a thief - complete with code breakers, walkie talkies and treasure maps. Or, as it's the 20th anniversary of Harry Potter this year, why not take part in your own tri-wizard tournament? Learn magic tricks and spells, use your courage and intelligence to defeat dementors and 'He Who Must Not Be Named' as you battle for the Triwizard cup! With good availability for this private experience in August and September (especially on week days) this is the perfect experience to keep the little'uns entertained.

Football Season

August 6th marks the start of the UK football season with Premier league winners Chelsea taking on FA cup winners Arsenal at Wembley. A summer of transfers has seen Manchester City with three of the most expensive defenders in history, Man U dropping a cool £75m on striker Romelo Lukaku and Rooney moving back to Everton after 13 years away. With matches now confirmed until October 1st we can offer hospitality seats across the stadiums. On non-match days we can also organise private tours or even exclusive training experiences for VIPs.

Royal Military Tattoo

For any clients wishing to head North, there is still availability for hospitality and tickets to the Royal Military Tattoo at Edinburgh Castle. This event is part of the fringe festival and is a must see for any first-timers in the city. We would recommend combining it with a visit to a traditional highland games or even to 'Bloody Scotland,' Stirling's international crime writing festival which takes place in early September. Our local guides can show you hidden gems and off the beaten track experiences across the country, whilst relaying stories and tales of the Scots turbulent past.

Doolin Caves

Doolin Cave is unlike any other show cave in the world. The cave is home to the 'Great Stalactite', at 23feet/7.3metres, it is the longest free hanging stalactite in the Northern Hemisphere and it is the longest in the world that is open to visitors. The Great Stalactite is a true wonder of nature. Enjoy a private tour 80 meters below the surface of the Burren with one of our experienced tour guides, or take a rare opportunity to visit with the cave's owner giving you access to exclusive information from the expert caver himself.

Image credits: (c) VisitBritain, Steve Bardens & Andrew Pickett