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Best of England and Best of London

I am doing these two tours in three weeks but have started having knee issues. I am wondering how strenuous the tours are. I am currently in PT and am having Synvisc injections to cushion the joint but am worried this may not be enough. Anyone do these tours recently?

Posted by
8063 posts

I did the Best of England in 2015. I thought it was medium compared to some of the other RS tours I've been on. It looks like this tour is rated kind of middle-of-the-road for activity, but keep in mind that is based on them being fairly active to start with. You may have to climb stairs at the hotels and you'll need to get on and off the bus.

I've not done the London tour but it is rated as between medium and strenuous. There are probably some trips on the Tube so you'd need to do stairs in the Tube stations unless there is an elevator or escalators. Just looked at the itinerary and Day 2 is a lot of walking altho not much in the way of hills or stairs except for steps to get up to the entrance of the National Gallery and stairs inside between floors. I see Days 2, 3 and 4 are marked strenuous and I would agree. Perhaps not the elevation change but all these days have a huge amount of walking.

Since you are worried perhaps the best thing to do is to call the RS office on Tuesday and talk with them.

Phooey on your bum knee!

Posted by
815 posts

I have not done those tours. Planning on Best of london in 2019. Sorry about your knees. I feel your pain. I have bad knees also. I get the mono visc shots for the past two years before I head out on my trips. They seems to help, but know it seems they are getting worse. I am going to dr in a month. May be looking at knee replacement. My next trips are two back to back in april 2018 so I hope I can last til then. Those shots should help, but I would also look at getting a knee brace of some sorts just in case you need some type of support. I got a banded one at my Dicks which helped a lot.

Good luck.

Posted by
2258 posts

I did these 2 tours back-to-back in the spring of 2015. All RS Tours are active and involve considerable walking and standing, but I do not remember these as being especially strenuous. As I think about it, my most strenuous experiences were when I was on my own or during the tour's "free time". You can always take it slow during those times, can often just relax in your hotel or at a park or cafe. Of course, that means you are limiting your travel experience. You can also opt out of certain tour activities, but then you are also missing out on satisfying experiences you have paid for.

Only you can assess your own situation, along with your health care providers. In your situation, with new knee issues that bother and worry you, and with new treatments still with unknown results, which may or may not relieve your pain or mobility issues through your entire trip, I would look into what would be involved in delaying your trip until you are more confident you can fully experience and enjoy it.

Posted by
2426 posts

We did the Best of London tour this summer, after the Portugal tour. There were a couple of folks with minor mobility issues on the London tour. Not easy for them but they made it. It is a strenuous tour with much walking. Many tube stations have escalators and elevators, but not all. Even so, you walk quite a distance, particularly the first few days. Consider calling the tour office and discussing your situation.

Posted by
180 posts

I did the Best of England tour. We did have an optional long walk in Keswick, which not everyone did. It was along the lake. We also had an elderly couple that weren't very mobile at all (they should have never taken a Rick Steves tour). I do remember at one stop, they stayed at the front of the entrance and didn't go in.

There is another longer walk in York. Also we walked to the train station in York, but our guide sent our luggage in two taxis, and the two elderly people rode with the taxis. They wouldn't have been able to walk that distance anyway. It worked out, because the guide needed two people to ride along with the luggage anyway.

You can always opt out of long walks, and I'm sure the guide will advise you on what is more strenuous and what isn't.

Posted by
695 posts

That is a shame about your knee....hopefully your treatment will make you good as new very soon. I would ask your doctor but maybe a knee brace will help keep your knee stable? I don't think it would hurt. Also, again, consult with your physician but if it were me I would make sure I had plenty of Ibuprofen on hand for the duration of the trip. It will help keep inflammation down and aid with any pain you may be feeling!

Posted by
2426 posts

And ask your doctor about Voltaren gel. It's an NSAID but you rub it on. Available OTC in the UK as Voltarol.

Posted by
888 posts

I've taken the RS London tour and recall that the most intense walking and standing was for Westminster Abbey, National Gallery, the City & St. Paul's. It looks like they've changed the itinerary to reflect evolving London--we were on our own at the Tower of London and Windsor once the guide paid our admissions and gave a short overview. And the South Bank and an East London tour were not included when I took the trip. Good change up as I thought the British Library should have been an "on your own" event. But, I highly recommend the Churchill War Rooms to add on your own if it's not included. You will be using the Tube during mornings, so even with escalators, you'll still need to move and react quickly. As others have suggested, I'd call the office to see what they think and/or could recommend. You can sit out on some things as long as your guide knows. Hope your knee improves enough that you're able to fully enjoy the trip!

Posted by
888 posts

I've taken the RS London tour and recall that the most intense walking and standing was for Westminster Abbey, National Gallery, the City & St. Paul's. It looks like they've changed the itinerary to reflect evolving London--we were on our own at the Tower of London and Windsor once the guide paid our admissions and gave a short overview. And the South Bank and an East London tour were not included when I took the trip. Good change up as I thought the British Library should have been an "on your own" event. But, I highly recommend the Churchill War Rooms to add on your own if it's not included. You will be using the Tube during mornings, so even with escalators, you'll still need to move and react quickly. As others have suggested, I'd call the office to see what they think and/or could recommend. You can sit out on some things as long as your guide knows. Hope your knee improves enough that you're able to fully enjoy the trip!