Our guide to the best coach holidays in Britain and beyond 

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The popularity of coach holidays was highlighted this week when National Express announced that bookings made by those aged 65 and over had leapt by 185 per cent in the past fortnight year on year

Charabanc holidays took off in the early 20th century when horse-drawn carriages were fitted with benches for group trips, usually to the seaside.

When simple motorised versions were introduced in the 1920s, charabancs — from the French char a bancs (carriage with benches) — disappeared and coach tour holidays as we know them began.

Coach breaks have obviously come a long way since, but their ongoing popularity was highlighted this week when National Express announced that bookings made by those aged 65 and over had leapt by 185 per cent in the past fortnight year on year — and more than half of all reservations were made by the over-50s. 

With ‘vaccine confidence’ driving demand and social distancing measures introduced — including reduced passenger capacities — faith in taking to the road on group trips seems to have been restored.

‘The roll-out of vaccines is a really welcome development for our passengers,’ says Robert Shaw, chairman of the Coach Tourism Association. 

‘We know that loyal customers of coach holiday companies around the UK are very keen to get travelling again, and we can’t wait to take them.’

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