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Best of England in 14 days tour

We are thinking of going on the RS Best of England in 14 days tour next May. We would start the tour in Bath. From what I can tell, we do not visit Stonehenge on the tour. If you've gone on the tour, did you visit Stonehenge? Is it worth it for us to see Stonehenge as a side trip if we see stone circles by Avebury on our way to the Cotswold village of Stow-on-the-Wold? Any advice? Thank you.

Posted by
1689 posts

I like them both, but prefer Avebury. Last year when I went on this tour I also went on the Mad Max tour that takes you to Stonehenge and other places. I hadn't been for at least 20 years, but enjoyed it, especially because of the new visitor center. Enjoy the tour. I had been to many of the places visited before, but enjoyed going back and getting a new perspective. My only complaint was the visit to Blenheim on the tour is way too short and the visit to the gardens in Wales is way too long (and I am of Welsh heritage.) I was there in late September so the gardens will probably be much better in May.

Posted by
931 posts

We saw Avebury on the BoE tour and then a few years later saw Stonehenge. I thought it was surprisingly moving and am glad I saw it in addition. But of course nobody knows what you'll think.

Posted by
3447 posts

That is a great tour! You're going to have so much fun! And see so many wonderful sights! Our favorites were Conwy Castle and Caernarfon Castle in Wales. Well, Blenheim was pretty great, too. Hadrian's Wall and York were amazing. We loved Bath and its lovely architecture and Roman Baths. OK, I could easily be talked into going on this tour again!

We arrived in Bath 3 days before our RS Best of England tour began. We used this time to do things that would not be on the tour, such as visiting the interior of Bath Abbey.
We used this time to walk around and familiarize ourselves with Bath. Plus to fully get over jet lag before our tour group's first evening meet-up.
If you arrive a bit early, you could do the Mad Max tour that takes you to Stonehenge, as mentioned by Laurie Beth.

If you are planning to take the RS Southern England tour someday in the future, it does include Stonehenge.

An alternative to arriving in Bath long before the tour.......You could go (from the airport) to Salisbury for two nights. See Stonehenge (its bus leaves from the center of town, takes you to Stonehenge, brings you back), see magnificent Salisbury Cathedral, and enjoy the views over the Water Meadows. Then take a very short ride by train or bus to Bath.

We saw Stonehenge on our own on a previous trip to England.
We were glad that we got to see both Stonehenge and Avebury.
To say which is better is impossible for me.
There is a small village among the stones at Avebury, making it very different from Stonehenge which stands alone on Salisbury Plain, a stark, beautiful and windy place all by itself (except for the small Visitors' Center and Museum).

Posted by
12653 posts

I've done exactly as Rebecca suggests....stayed 2 nights in Salisbury and did a tour out to Stonehenge on the local shuttle bus. That also allowed me to see the Salisbury Cathedral and the very good small museum there as well.

I am one that loves Stonehenge. I like walking back to the Visitor Center via the Cursus and the tumuli. It is all so interesting to me!

IF you are not restricted on time, I suggest a few days in London, out to Salisbury for 2 nights and then to Bath a night or two before the tour starts. The London->Salisbury and Salisbury->Bath train segments are very easy.

This is a wonderful tour!!

Posted by
1487 posts

I'll freely admit I'm one of thiose people who actually prefer Stonehenge to Avenbury... I know it gets busy and you admire the stones from behind a 'barrier' where as at Avebury you can wander freely within the stone circle. BUT Avebury is just a large circle with an assortment of stones around it. There aren't the massive trilithon stones you find at Stonehenge... If you can manage an extra day or two, it is definitely worth trying to see Stonehenge

Posted by
318 posts

My daughters and I did the London Walks day trip to Stonehenge and Salisbury in 2018. It was a wonderful tour. I don't know if they're still doing it, but from what I've read here, it's easy to see Stonehenge and Salisbury on your own. I think it's definitely worth it. The cathedral is breathtaking. And it meant a lot to me to see Stonehenge. Some people say they're just stones, but it meant much more than that to me.

Posted by
77 posts

My mother and I are booked on the Best of England tour in August. We are arriving 3 nights early to Bath and plan to visit Windsor on our way from LHR to Bath (private transfer), a day trip to the Southern Cotswold towns (private driver), and a day trip to Salisbury via train and will take the shuttle bus to Stonehenge and back and will do a Cathedral Tower tour on our own. It will be a long day, but it is not complicated. Between train tickets, Stonehenge bus and entry tickets, and cathedral tower tour tickets it comes out to about £75 per person.