MOST holiday brochures are filled with pictures of women in garish swimming costumes looking unfeasibly happy for somebody staying in a crap resort. Even their fellas have ridiculously white teeth and stomachs flatter than Holland. But then along comes the Whistler Breaks brochure for 1998, with a pretty illustration of a primrose on its otherwise plain cover. And inside? Well more drawings of Gloucester Cathedral, a rockery, and a Lancaster bomber. No this isn't a brochure from the Forties, but a sweet collection of breaks for older folk (or at least people who are beyond having their bikini lines waxed). Whistler organises guided tours and holidays around Britain for people who want to go bird watching, visit gardens and festivals, and learn about our nation's history. The brochure is written in rather jolly language (but that's better than the usual brochurespeak). You are informed, for example, that "several of our guests on the garden tours asked if we would consider running a tour to Cornwall. Ever willing, we are only too happy to oblige, and our April trip should fit the bill for spring gardeners." I think you're getting the idea.
Among the upcoming holidays are Walking in the Footsteps of a Shropshire Lad (2-5 April) for pounds 257 all inclusive, and Lincolnshire: the History of the RAF and Bomber Command (8-10 May) for pounds 198 all inclusive. A note at the back of the brochure claims that people of all ages go on these trips, but I imagine most teenagers would have to be dragged along begging for mercy.
Alternatively, if you fancy a break in the Isle of Wight, there's the Sailaway Holidays brochure from Red Funnel Ferries. The copywriting goes into meaningless overdrive in a bid to lure you to the South Coast. Apparently, "the island is a tranquil haven from a bustling outside world" but, alarmingly, to get there your ferry "weaves through an armada of yachts, cruise ships, tankers and pleasure craft" (will you ever make it?). Perhaps useful if you want to find a cheapish hotel.
Whistler Breaks, tel 01743 718964; Sailaway Holidays, tel 01703 333811.