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Scandinavia tour and South England tour

I've booked these two tours back to back and am curious if you have any suggestions on what to see during free time for either of these tours. I'll have one free day in Stockholm before the tour starts and one free day in Canterbury before that tour starts.

Skansen looks like an interesting place and it doesn't seem to be part of the trip itinerary. Has anyone gone to see this open air folk museum?

Also has anyone else booked on these dates?

Scandinavia - May 12 -25
S England - May 27 - June 8

Posted by
10343 posts

Skansen is a recreated village of old traditional Swedish buildings. Our hotel was next door to it and we didn't go there as we had just visited a similar site in Oslo which your tour visits.
There are so many wonderful places to visit in Stockholm. Take the boat ride out to Drottingham Palace where the Royal family lives, a beautiful trip, nice gardens. Stroll around Gamla Stan, Old Town. While there visit the Royal Palace( former home of royals but now they live out at Drottingholm Palace) and the Cathedral. You can visit the Armory at the Royal Palace. There is a changing of the Guard at the Royal Palace.
There is a lot more but these ideas should help you fill your free time in Stockholm.

I enjoyed Skansen. I hadn’t intended to go, but I arrived to see the Vasa Museum just as a cruise ship group arrived, so I went to Skansen for the morning and back to Vasa in the afternoon.

If the weather is nice, it’s a very pleasant place to stroll for a few hours, especially if you like poking around recreated old farmhouses etc. It’s very popular with Swedish schooltrips, apparently.

Posted by
1400 posts

Skansen is very child friendly. If you want a lesson in folkways you might enjoy it; otherwise I would do some of the other things mentioned by the 1st poster as a more interesting use of your time.

Posted by
1207 posts

In Canterbury I would recommend seeing the ruins of St. Augustine's Abbey. I believe there is also a recreation of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales you can go through.

Posted by
1528 posts

"I believe there is also a recreation of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales you can go through."

There is, but I would rate it as a "if I have nothing else to do on a rainy day".

Posted by
14150 posts

I visited Skansen in October. It was interesting, fairly empty and a short walk or tram ride to the Vasa Museum. I would recommend both if they are not included in your tour.

The cafeteria at the Vasa Museum is very nice and fairly reasonable for Stockholm.

Posted by
112 posts

Look into the archipelago tours. We took a dinner tour that had excellent food and a great tour of the archipelago area just outside the city. You have good options and most, if not all, leave from the pier in front of the opera house, which was an easy walk from our RS hotel. Loved the city.

Posted by
6103 posts

There's a great Roman museum in Canterbury. We spent an entire afternoon there, and hoped to go back for another visit. Unfortunately, we ran out of time there.

Posted by
1103 posts

The South England tour spends very little time in Bath. We added a couple of days there after the tour.

Posted by
1280 posts

It obviously depends on interests. We like open air museums and the Skansen was the highlight of Stockholm. Not just the wide variety of buildings moved there, but an interesting collection of animals in the "zoo bits". Great stuff.

Whatever you do, avoid the Swedish History Museum. I know people joke (unfairly perhaps), about the Swedes being dull, but this took dreariness to mind-numbing levels. Much better is the Vasa exhibit.

Posted by
10343 posts

I think seeing Oslo's version of a Skansen will be enough for you.

Posted by
5318 posts

I like cultural history and open air museums, so I like Skansen a lot. I had a season pass during the 2 years that I lived in Stockholm and visited frequently. Skansen is best on the weekends as there tend to be more buildings open and more special events like folk dancing or music. Closer to your visit, I’d suggest that you check the Skansen website to see what is scheduled during your visit and see if this appeals to you. I always enjoy visiting the glassworks where you can see glassblowing. There is a great view out over the water from the area near the Solliden stage. The Skansen gift shop has some nice Swedish handicrafts like linens from Ekelund Weavers.

An archipelago tour is also a nice suggestion.

Posted by
50 posts

Thanks everyone for your suggestions!
I'm looking forward to the trip.

Posted by
4086 posts

I enjoyed the Under the Bridges boat tour in Stockholm.

From the web page: "travel under twelve bridges and pass through the lock that is connecting the Baltic Sea with Lake Mälaren."

It's a small boat. There are headsets with your choice of languages.

I was not on a tour in Canterbury, but I made sure to attend evensong at the cathedral. That's always an enjoyable experience for me.

Posted by
25600 posts

I imagine your tour takes care of this, but I really enjoyed the Canterbury tourist office's walking tour. Upstairs in the cathedral (no elevator) is a stained glass museum. It's not huge, but I really liked being able to see examples of stained windows from a variety of periods down at eye level.

Posted by
13241 posts

In response to acraven's post, I'll mention there is a walking tour of Canterbury on the tour - ours happened on the way to and from dinner, yours may be timed slightly differently.

The first morning will include a tour of the cathedral and a tour of the stained glass workshop with your group split in half as the workshop is tiny. The workshop was one of my favorite events on the tour...absolutely fabulous. I went back in to the cathedral afterward to see the stained glass panel our workshop guide had done. It's one of the new ones installed in the Cloister and it was so special to see it after spending time with her. As an aside, when my brother and I were in the cloister area a Harris' Hawk flew thru followed by his falconer. They were on pigeon patrol. (Hawk was named Prince Harry, his falconer was Conan!!)

I really enjoyed the Saint Augustine's Abbey (did not plan enough time here!) and wish we had had time to walk a bit further and see St Martin's Church as well. It is the oldest parish church in England still in use.

We also enjoyed a couple of walks along the River Stour to the Hambrook Marsh. We walked along it one afternoon, then my brother and I got up early to go out there birding. I was surprised at how many locals stopped us to talk. They were walking their dogs and seemed to want to give us advice on what to see in the area. It was a lot of fun!

I would plan on having a collapsible walking stick with a rubber tip (not the carbide tip) for the walk up St. Michael's Mount. The path is very cobbled and the rocks are kind of set upright so the pointy side is up. If it's raining it will be very slick. The tide was in when we got there so we took the small boats across, then walked back on the causeway as the tide had receded.

This is a fun trip and I know you'll have a good time.

Posted by
50 posts

Some wonderful thoughtful ideas were shared. Thank you very much. I'll share them with my daughter who will be my Scandinavia tour mate to see what appeals to her.

May is still a ways off but am looking forward to the tour reunion!

Posted by
116 posts

We did the BOS tour this summer with three days in advance. We did Skansen and totally enjoyed our visit. Also we visited the ABBA museum which as I remember was near the Skansen entrance. We lived loved ABBA visit.

Enjoy Stockholm what ever you do!