150 Year Banner (1)

Originally founded in 1874 by Abraham Altham, and trading under his name, the Company had 60 shops by 1880, selling groceries and hardware. Abraham Altham then became a Limited Company in 1894. Abraham Altham died at the age of 44 in 1886.

In addition, Althams were well known as Tea Merchants, having their own five brands of tea, all blended and packed under the Althams’ label. Customers buying the best brands were given tea cheques valued at 2d, 4d or 1/~. In later years, 2/6d and 5/~ tea cheques were added to the range: these tea cheques could be put towards the cost of Rail tickets which were sold in many of our branches as early as 1876.

From 1876, Althams used to run their own Railway Excursions from Lancashire and Yorkshire towns to seaside resorts on the West Coast.

From 1944, the Company’s name was changed to ‘Althams Stores Limited’ and over the years a small number of self contained Travel Offices were opened in local towns such as Accrington, Burnley, Bury, Halifax and Nelson. The majority of the stores had a travel counter, but up to the early 1960’s the Travel Department was still the ‘poor relation’ of the Company.

During 1967, with the growth in supermarkets and other economic conditions, the Directors decided to close down the stores which were losing money, and this was done over the next eighteen months or so. When the last of these had been closed in 1968, the Company name was changed to ‘Althams Travel Services Limited’ in 1969.

Members of Abraham Altham's family have worked for the company, until the death in 1995 of his great grandson, Peter Kay, who was chairman at the time. Many of Abraham's descendants are still shareholders and continue to show a keen interest in the company's on-going development.

Ten of our shops in Yorkshire, together with Blackburn, Colne and Farnworth in Lancashire, were converted to Travel Agencies in 1968 and 1969. Today, we have 32 branches across Lancashire, Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, with plans to open more. 

It is a fact these days many of the large travel agency chains are either owned by large tour operators, insurance groups, foreign companies or are nationalised, but we are completely independent and still consider ourselves to be a family Company, with the interest. and welfare of our clients being first priority.

Our award-winning service has been consistently maintained, winning 'Best Large Agency' North West England & North Wales at this year's Agent Achievement Awards. This fabulous award is voted for by travel industry peers. An incredible accomplishment having won this award for the last 10 consecutive years.



- We know the market and we listen to what you want! We tailor your results to give you the best choice available.


- Should anything go wrong we are here to help you every step of the way.


 - Your time is valuable so let us do all the work for you.


- We have great relationships with all our tour operator suppliers meaning we can get the best deals for you.


- We can arrange everything you need for your holiday including insurance, currency, airport hotels, excursions and much more!


- We are completely independent and still consider ourselves to be a family company, with the interest and welfare of our clients being first priority.


- We are ABTA bonded and ATOL protected for your financial security. Your money is safe with us!


- Winners of 'Best large agent North West England & North Wales 2023' and for the last 10 consecutive years at the Agent Achievement awards.

Whilst searching for your next holiday, there's one thing that we ask; before pressing that 'book now' button, contact your local Althams travel branch who will be available to assist you with any advice and availability. Support local, support your local travel agent.

Established in 1874 - 150 Years in Business