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Best of England April 15?

Casting my net here. Anyone else on this tour? Anyone who has taken this tour or been to these destinations have recommendations for places to eat and/ or things to do whilst on this tour? We have Roy as our tour leader and will be spending a few days on our own pre- tour in Windsor. Thanks in advance for your input.

Posted by
8248 posts

This was such a fun tour! I really enjoyed it.

If you are in Conwy and if your free evening is on a Friday you may need to make reservations for dinner. Your guide will let you know for sure, but if so when you get in the first afternoon, head to the restaurant of choice and make reservations for the next night. It may be early enough in the season that this isn’t a problem. I was there in Sept and it was crowded.

I do recommend going to Plas Mawr in Conwy in your free time. It’s an Elizabethan house and I found it very interesting. There is a small charge to enter. Also you’ll have time to walk the City Wall.

Lots of great places to eat in Bath. I’d look at Trip Advisor and narrow some down. I’m vegan so my choices might not be yours! (Green Rocket-really great vegan food!!😁)

So much to do and see in Bath. I love #1 Royal Crescent, a restored Georgian townhouse on the Royal Crescent. Don’t bother with the Jane Austen Centre. It’s expensive, they have nothing original of hers there and she did not live at that address!

In Keswick I spent my free afternoon walking up to Castlerigg stone circle. The Tourist Info in the town center will give you directions and a map. I loved the Pencil Museum!! If you want to purchase the excellent Derwent Color Pencils or other Derwent Artist supplies the gift shop is the place to do it. I got so overwhelmed by the choices I didn’t buy any then kicked myself afterward!

So much to see in York as well. I enjoyed the Castle Museum in the old prison.

Did I tell you I really enjoyed this tour? 😁 You’ll have a wonderful time.

Posted by
4601 posts

We've had Roy on two different tours (neither of which was the Best of England,) and he is wonderful. One of the two or three best RS guides we have ever had. He's very knowledgeable, funny, helpful... Ask him to recommend local beers or ales to you. Although he sent me down the road to ruin by introducing us to cider...

Posted by
290 posts

Traveling Mom
You and I corresponded last year. We were both on the Eastern France tour, I was one week ahead of you. My husband and I took this tour in May of 2015. It is a wonderful tour. We also had Roy. He is fabulous. He has that "wicked British sense of humor". I'm trying to remember what we did during the free time. One thing we didn't do, but wish we had...The Bath Abbey. i have seen pictures of the interior from a scrapbook of a woman who was on our tour and the "fan vaulting" is incredible. We visited the Number 1 house at the Royal Crescent. Really enjoyed learning about the history of that time. We also visited the Pultney Bridge as we had seen it in the movie "Les Miserables". It's the scene where Javert jumps off the bridge to his death. Really cool. We ate at a restaurant recommended in Rick's book (2015) called Rustico Bistro Italiano. We went early and had the restaurant to ourselves for about 30 minutes. There were 4 of us eating there and we bought several different entrees and shared. Everything was fabulous. I think it was my favorite restaurant on the whole trip. When we got to the Cotswolds there was a horse fair/sale which apparently draws Gypsies into town. The majority of the shops and restaurants were closed because all the vendors were concerned that the gypsies would steal everything. So we had both of our night dinners at the restaurant at the hotel. In Conwy, our spare time we shopped a little, and walked along the shore. At Keswick, we mostly walked around town because it was very rainy and not safe to hike. We had a wonderful free-time dinner at the "Dog and Gun club" We loved it! We sat at a large table with a couple of guys who were hiking "The Wainwrights" (They are a series of hikes all over England). It was so much fun talking to them. It was a great "being a local" moment. I loved York. The minster was my favorite. Plan on attending "Evensong". It is wonderful to slowly take in that beautiful cathedral. The choral music is fabulous. We visited the Yorkshire Museum. It was ok. Be sure to have lunch or tea at Betty's Cafe Tea room. Wonderful history and very good food. We had purchased tickets to see Les Miserables at the theater in London ahead of time. We purchased them on Ticket Master and had fabulous seats. We stayed 3 extra days in London after the tour finished. We visited Hampton Court. It is a full day, but very interesting. We also planned our trip dates around the Chelsea Flower show. It is at the end of May, but it was a highlight of our visit to England. We also rode the London eye (bought our tickets at a discount online the night before our ride) and visited the Churchill War rooms. Both were great. I would also recommend watching the movie "Darkest Hour" and "Dunkirk" if you are a WWII history junkie like we are. They tie in together perfectly. Enjoy your trip.

Posted by
697 posts

Adding a quick reply here!

We had Roy Nichols for our Best of London tour last fall and he is top notch! His humor! Oh my, I really really enjoyed him! We went to Bath on our own after the tour and spent one night there. We stayed at Abbey Hotel but I don't think the tour stays there. Great location, right by Pulteney bridge mentioned earlier. For eats in Bath, we enjoyed sunday roast at Garrick's Head. If it's nice enough there is outside seating. We also ate at an Italian place right around the corner from our hotel....very crowded (which means it's good)! It was called The Real Italian Pizza :) Yummy! We also ate in the Pump Room (tea and some breakfast).

Dont miss the opportunity to see the Abbey and the Baths. These were highlights of our trip!

Posted by
378 posts

Thank you all for such good suggestions. Jane, you make me laugh. We are definitely looking forward to local beer, ale and of course the Demon Cider. Janet, what a great resource of ideas. How can you remember so many details? Please tell me you have those written down somewhere. I appreciate the breakdown by location. Makes it easier to add to my notes (I can't/don't rely on memory. Now where did I leave that notebook...)
Kathy, thanks for adding to our enthusiasm about our tour leader and the destinations. Abbey, baths, cider, Derwent pencils, Dog and Gun...the teacher in me is already organizing these ideas into an "ABC" book. :)