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Back-to-back England Tours

Anyone have any thoughts about, or experience doing, the Best of England and Best of London Tours back-to-back?

I realize there is plenty of overlap but I would assume that skipping or self-modifying some of the "repeats" wouldn't be a big issue.

Posted by
6926 posts

Although I haven’t taken either tour, your idea is intriguing, so I peeked at the itineraries, and it looks like a back-to-back combo is worthwhile idea, if you have the time and money. You’ll already be in London, so it’s efficient.

The overlap appears to be Westminster Abbey and the Tower of London. I’d ask Rick’s staff if each tour has the exact same visit planned at those places. If they have different guided tours depending on which of Rick’s tours you’re on at the moment, you could stick with the version that interests you the most, and decide how to spend the time during the other tour. Just as long as everyone’s clear how, when, and where to meet up with the group if you don’t stay with them for every minute in London.

Posted by
4265 posts

I haven't done either of those tours, but did back to back Best of Istanbul and Best of Turkey tours last year. We decided to stick with the group, even during overlapping activities. We were happy to revisit our blockbuster sights, which gave us a chance to see new details within. And in our case, with two different guides, we got different perspectives on what we were seeing.

Posted by
166 posts

Hello fellow Islander!
I was on the Best of England tour last September. It ends with only 2 days in London. Even adding an extra day before flying home, I could only see a tiny bit of London. I think it’s a great idea to do back to back tours. I wouldn’t think it would matter which one you did first…whatever works for your schedule.

Posted by
3 posts

"We were happy to revisit our blockbuster sights, which gave us a chance to see new details within." This is something I was thinking as well. I have often visited someplace and later found out I missed something. I could see the attraction of going again to some things to see more details.

Posted by
1528 posts

I would go to the Tower of London on the tour that gets there the earliest in the day. When I went on the Best of England tour we went to the Tower on arrival in London which put us there mid to late morning at the peak of the crowds.

Posted by
383 posts

Would it make the most sense to do the London tour after the England tour? But would they be contiguous?

But after two guided days in London, is a tour necessary to see more? London is so easy to navigate, and after getting your bearings, it might be more enjoyable to explore more at your own pace.

Posted by
13225 posts

I think it’s a splendid idea!!

On one of my first RS tour experiences I did 21 day Best of Europe and added the Best of Paris. The Best of Europe only has 2 days in Paris so the extra time there was wonderful.

I did do Best of England the next year but had previously done a Road Scholar London program so didn’t add Rick’s.

Posted by
14144 posts

How much time do you have between tours? I did two tours back to back a few years ago with weekend in between, The tours were in two different countries (Italy and England.)I was exhausted by the end of the second tour. Pace yourself.

It's absolutely all right to skip out on something on the tour as long as the guide and your buddy know. Just make sure you check with the guide as to where and when to meet up with the group.
I've done it to see things I wanted when the planned activity was not to my liking.

London is a great city.

Posted by
95 posts

I spent 3 days in London before my RS southern England tour last year. London is very easy to navigate with the help of an Oyster card and the CityMapper app. I loved the tour experience, but found that I enjoyed London better as a solo traveler. I’m heading back for a week on my own next month. I will be taking a couple London Walks tours. They’re a great way to take a break from traveling on your own. I hope you enjoy the Best of England tour. I’m considering it next year.
Happy Travels!!

Posted by
320 posts

We did the Best of England last year and thoroughly enjoyed it. I think as previous posters have mentioned once you get your bearings in London a tour it's easy to do on your own. Definitely recommend Walks of London. [][1] You can pick from the many options to see what is of interest to you.

Posted by
108 posts

We did back to back Venice,Florence, Rome and then Seven Days in Rome. There were two overlapping days, the Forum/ Colosseum and Vatican. We didn’t want to repeat theVatican again so we took that day to look at other things that were not on either tour. We were so intrigued by theForum that we went back on our own and explored that area for another four hours. By the end of the Rome tourI felt that I had really seen Rome and was glad we made that decision. Informing our guide of our decisions was easy and she was excited to hear about our adventures and offer suggestions.

Posted by
3 posts

I get that I could just add more days in London on my own. I just want to compare having the arrangements made (hotels, transport, tours) by someone else. ;)

Posted by
14144 posts

Tedward.....if you feel more comfortable having someone else take care of much of the planning, then go for it. You can utilize the overlaps from the two tours to plan some extra excursions of your own. And perhaps, even, stay an extra day or two.

It's your time and your money. Do what makes YOU happy.

Posted by
6174 posts

I haven't done either of these, but I want to reinforce the value of a day or two between them to recharge your batteries, if the schedules allow that. RS tours are pretty fast-paced and I've been thoroughly tired right after the three I've taken. A city tour may not be as tiring because you're not moving around so much. Also, keep in mind the value of arriving in England a day or two before the first tour, to get used to the time change and catch up on sleep after an overnight flight.

Posted by
677 posts

Over the years, we’ve done many tours back-to-back. Usually, we had a week or two of free time between tours. This was a great arrangement for us and one I definitely recommend.

One year, I thought it would be a clever idea to do the Best of London, Best of England, and Best of Scotland with just a day or two between each. It made sense logistically and financially, but it turned out to be overwhelming when it came to meeting our third group of new names to learn. We stuck with a max of two from then on.

Posted by
3576 posts

Go for it! This is a great idea.
We did the RS Best of England tour and it was fabulous!
It ends in London, as you know, and the guide will give you a lesson on using the tube and bus system in London.

The RS London tour begins with the guide giving you a lesson on using the tube and bus system in London.
This should give you a feeling of confidence about doing transportation in London on your own should you decide to stay on after the 2nd tour.
I agree about doing the second tour through the Tower of London and Westminster Abbey on the second tour. You will notice different things each time, plus have two different guides with different perspectives.

Posted by
10 posts

I think the biggest obstacle will be how wearing it will be for you physically. We are doing back to back tours this year for the first time. Seven day Paris tour and then flying to Rome for Southern Italy 13 day tour. We are both in our 50's and hoping that it won't be overwhelming. We've done 2 prior RS tours and fully enjoyed them. We optimistically put deposits on 7 day Istanbul followed by 14 day Greece for 2024. Let's hope it all works out.