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A Royal trip report

I'm halfway through my tour of Southern England and thought I'd share my Royal experiences so far.  We avoided London this trip and so I can't report on anything there.  We arrived Monday last week and spent the first couple of nights in Lewes and we didn't notice much buzz on the streets except most shops had a photo of the Queen in the window and signs were going up about being open or closed on the day of the funeral.

The buzz  did get stronger as the week went on, in Winchester on Wednesday we stopped by the cathedral for a peak.  People were lining up inside to sign the several memorial books available and we got in one of the lines to sign our respects as well.  A lot of flowers left outside; not on the scale of Westminster and Buckingham, but a steady stream. It was a sombre mood inside cathedral but not really anywhere else we walked, business as usual.

Salisbury on  Friday; the bus driver at Stonehenge said his wife went to London the day the viewing opened and was back in 8 hours and saw the coffin at Westminster, but our town tour guide on Saturday said he spent 17 hours going from Salisbury and back on Thursday including 13 hours in line.   He says nobody was frustrated,  everybody was friendly.

Monday, back in Winchester,  we're staying in a 5 room inn above a pub.   It's closed today,  with no employees on site and we're the only ones here.  Very strange.  We were given a door code to let ourselves in and out.

We watched the procession from our room and when the funeral started we headed to the town centre.  Our hotel is in a neighborhood about a half mile from the town centre and it was dead quiet. We could see  some people through their front windows watching the funeral on tv.  In the town centre I'd describe it as a typical Sunday morning we'd see at home with a few people out and about. All the coffee shops were open this morning,  with some closing between 1030 and 2. 

The cathedral was full of people watching on big screens and the sound was pumped outside to people who couldn't get in.   Families were sitting in the park listening.

Bells tolled a couple of hours later and restaurants opened but pubs and shops remained closed.  It's now 9pm here and we're still the only ones in our 5 room hotel above the pub. When we check out in the morning we were told to leave our keys in a basket by the bar.   Very strange.

Posted by
6113 posts

Which part is strange? Since Covid, most hotels have a self checkout - just drop the key in a box.

It’s not surprising places were quiet or closed today as most were probably watching the service on tv at home. CenterParcs hit the news last week when they asked all guests to go home last night and return tomorrow until the adverse publicity caused them to change their minds - at least that didn’t happen to you!

I was away in Norfolk until a couple of days ago and other than the day after the Queen died, I didn’t hear anybody discussing royal events. People seemed more concerned about their cost of living issues.

I went to the supermarket yesterday and it was busier than Christmas, as people wouldn’t be able to shop today.

Posted by
249 posts

Thanks for sharing your experience!

I take your comment of “very strange” to mean very different or unusual to compared to things you have experienced so far - that’s the way I would say it too, not as a negative comment but more of an ‘oh, I’m not used to this’. Maybe it’s a Canadian thing 😄🇨🇦

Posted by
3260 posts

Why is that very strange? The staff presumably wanted to watch the
services for Her Majesty.

Very strange because I've never experienced a stay before where there was no staff member keeping an eye on things. When at home, even on Christmas I'm used to having someone on staff to check me in or out. Strange also to be the only guests in a hotel/inn...? I'm not exactly sure what the term is for a small place with rooms over a pub. We are literally the only living souls in the hotel since Sunday evening, it's now 8:40am Tuesday and still just us as we check out. All new experiences. Loved where we stayed though.

Posted by
2839 posts

Thanks for the report, Allan. I am looking forward to your full report when you get back, because I will be traveling along behind you (for part of your trip) in November.

As far as dropping off keys, sounds a bit like my stay at Durham Castle this summer. When it came time to leave, there was no one at all around (and also no previous instructions or a note), office closed and locked. I had a really nice chat with a couple of English ladies also wanting to turn their key in while we waited a bit. After 10 or 15 minutes, we decided to leave the keys (NOT a door card) on a desk/surface near the door after noticing a couple of other keys there. That would feel really irresponsible in the U.S. but seemed perfectly fine there. :) And I guess it was!

Posted by
590 posts

Only thing that seems strange to me is that nobody told you to just leave your keys. Not even a friendly sign at the front desk.

Posted by
306 posts

We stayed in a historic hotel in a small town along the Mississippi last summer and never saw another person, guest or staff, during our two night stay. Check in documents to sign were on the desk with our key. There was a second set there so we think another room was occupied. When we returned after our first day of doing stuff our room had been cleaned. That night we think we were the only ones there. Left our key when we checked out 🤷

Posted by
3260 posts

No, I'll do a full report when I'm back. Just thought the Royal part was timely.

Posted by
3260 posts

No, we're on our own. Touring Southern England from Salisbury to Canterbury. Currently in Rye, heading to Dover in the morning and ending in Canterbury on Saturday.

Posted by
279 posts


HM made a wise decision in selecting the four Mounties in the vibrant red coats of their uniforms to lead the funeral procession. Two young women alongside the two young men, representing the Commonwealth’s inclusive values. Hope it made you feel proud to be Canadian and part of the Commonwealth.

Best wishes on the rest of your holidays.
Regards Ron

Posted by
9444 posts

We were all alone in a hotel in Cologne for two nights. It was also self check-in with a key box outside, which wasn't disclosed until after I'd given my credit card. We thought we'd give it a try.
No other guests or staff except in the morning. It felt creepy, strange, indeed. That was the only trip we used two RS recommendations. No more RS recommendations for me.

Posted by
3260 posts

Hope it made you feel proud to be Canadian and part of the

It did. I was completely surprised by it and keep looking back at the photo online. Apparently the Queen had made the request that riders from the RCMP Musical Ride be included.