Learned a lot on this tour. This was our 5th Rick Steves tour and it exceeded our expectations (as usual!). Explore Europe with Rick Steves, best-selling travel author and host of public television's "Rick Steves' Europe" and public radio's "Travel with Rick Steves." Both Heathrow and Gatwick airports are served direct by National Express coach (schedules are available at the National Express website). The tour also gave me a new perspective on world war II.". Supplement $775. This awe-inspiring-in-its-day warship, King Henry VIII's favorite, sank in 1545 while fighting the French just off the coast. We'll return to our home village with time for some exploration and dinner on your own. The overall tour was fantastic! With the assurance of our very knowledgeable and experienced local guide, I not only did it--I enjoyed it!". "I believe the time on the moor with Tom taking us to ancient sites, including climbing a tor was my favorite. Divine. 1)Making pasties was enjoyable, but meeting and hearing the life story of Marion was truly impressive. "Just one favorite? The Mary Rose.". Marvel at the iconic White Cliffs of Dover, sweeping moorlands of Dartmoor, ancient stone circles, cliff-perched villages, and great sailing ships. Roy is a terrific guide, easy going, well organized and funny. 3) Some places in England are loaded with people in August, like Cornwall. Well, they say Kent is very famous for having chalky soil, with the White Cliffs of Dover, and chalk river's — the chalk filters the water. Queen Victoria wanted more privacy and less decadence, so she sold the Pavilion to the city of Brighton, which owns it to this day. We were a happy band of travelers. With Rick Steves. This was our first "Cultural Connections" tour, and we did notice a slight difference in the emphasis of the activities. The tour surpassed every expectation I had prior to the trip. You set expectations before the tour and people understand it, you get a different kind of traveler, we love that. For generations those pilgrims passed through this fancy gate to reach their destination, Canterbury Cathedral. The Victory bristles with cannon lining several gun decks. My 7th Rick Steves tour that exceeded my expectations! For a leisurely, water-level view of Canterbury, take a calm cruise on the Stour River. Wow!". The extensive tours of Canterbury and Salisbury Cathedrals were great. The second Wow moment was going to the top of a moor and finding a quiet spot to have a picnic lunch and taking in the view. But more and more holes in the English defenses open up. "Going up into the work area at Canterbury Cathedral where the conservation work is going on. Get ready for the open house tour of a lifetime as Rick Steves guides us through this French region's most evocative castles and palaces. "Staying inside the walls in Canterbury & waking up to the Cathedral each morning.". Hit England's can't-miss art, sights, and bites in two weeks or less with Rick Steves Best of England! Visiting Port Isaac.". Also, the privilege of seeing Canterbury Cathedral as only God, the pigeons, and stonemasons typically get to see it - from atop scaffolding higher than the roof!". I was unfamiliar with most of the places we were scheduled to visit and did not know what to expect. Great overall value. Our tour guide, Roy, was so knowledgeable, professional, yet "one of us." "This trip doesn't have the grand hilltop view from an Italian village or a stunning event to attend like Edinburgh's tattoo. By the way, we're here in August. The group was a friendly bunch who were up upbeat and kind to each other. Video: Watch Heart of England, an episode of the Rick Steves' Europe TV show. If we hadn't been on the Rick Steves tour or Tom as our guide we would have just driven by the area not knowing about the special treasure! The time they were willing to spend taking us behind the scenes and explaining their processes as well as being able to stand on the "false floor" and bet an up close look at the amazing ceiling.". Seeing the stonemasons working on the catherdral in Canterbury was such a treat. The South Downs Way (often abbreviated SDW) runs for 100 miles along the chalk hills of England's south coast, from Winchester (25 miles inland in Hampshire) to Eastbourne (on the coast of East Sussex). Brighton's Royal Pavilion, with its eccentric exterior, recalls the city's flamboyant heyday. Liz and Lorraine enhanced the entire tour with their knowledge and tour guide expertise. Loved that. ©2021 Rick Steves' Europe, Inc. | This was another fabulous tour. The shorter Best of England guidebook focuses on England's top destinations and sights, and is in full color. Its interior, which retains its 1820s decor, is even more outlandish. Just being in the moment at that perfect spot.". There was no such thing as privacy, and the tight quarters created a forest of hammocks. It is a very busy tour and each day has at least two, if not three major sites and activities. ", This is our fifth tour with rick steves. A Message from Rick | Frequently Asked Questions Loved the itinerary mostly. The overall experience met our expectations. The crew rushed him below deck to care for their leader in his dying hours. Naval yard at Portsmouth. With the outbreak of World War II, more bombproof tunnels were dug. 26:09. This is a very active tour! The simple beauty was breathtaking. "Liked the WWII tunnels at Dover and the Naval Museum at Portsmouth although I wish I had gone on the tour of the Submarines instead of going through the Mary Rose. Gaze across the unassuming little valley and imagine thousands of invading troops. Southern England sits upon a foundation of chalk, and there are miles of white cliffs towering above its beaches. Moderate walking: 2–6 miles throughout the day with some hills and stairs. That's because the Warrior was so formidable it was considered unbeatable. Starting in Canterbury and ending in Bath, our Best of South England tour brings you to the very roots of British history and culture. How did Rick arrange this? The tour was well organized and went flawlessly. The amazing machinery needed in tin mining. "Far and away the WOW moment was our tour to the roof top of Canterbury Cathedral. 1. Fabulous, especially the emphasis on history and geology. Rick Steves' Europe | All the best travel tips, travel inspiration, and European tour info from the team at Rick Steves' Europe. It was amazing and frightening at the same time. I was glad it wasn't just old folks. It was filled with Cathedrals, Beaches, Castles, Pasties, Beer tasting and more. In case you wish to book pre- or post-tour hotel accommodations, the contact information for the tour's first and last hotels is included in your tour confirmation email as well as in the Itinerary section of your tour account. You'll find exhibits about the cliffs and local flora and fauna, plus a handy café and ample space for picnicking. Let's hit the beach! The little towns and villages are welcoming and charming, the countryside beautifully green, and we saw a lot of the coastline on this route. You stand where King Arthur was born and where Lord Nelson died. Explore Quintessential Venice. showed up. Here are a few particularly memorable ones from my current swing through South England and South Wales.. We were guided by the head of the restoration project and she was a wonderful guide. Stayed healthy. From here, the Norman invaders swept into London, and William was crowned King of England and built the Tower of London to defend his realm. Understanding the great disparity in wealth of the ruling class and the church in the 1000-1800 period. The visit to the Mary Rose exhibit and the tour of the Victory were very interesting and educational. "I don't have a favorite moment but I am a lover of nature more than anything else. ©2021 Rick Steves' Europe, Inc. | Thai, cream tea, ploughman's lunch, and always a solid English breakfast, if desired. Taste delicious seafood, comforting cream teas, and hearty ales. And everywhere seeing dogs with their owners. Watching master craftsman restore ancient stained glass Great guide, good tour mates, and fantastic sites. This was a great trip. Tour Account › Travel Forum › Home / Travel Forum / England; Please sign in to post. I enjoyed the variety of castles, "The Canterbury Cathedral was lovely and was my wow moment". ", "Merrivale. Overwhelming exceeded. Everything we have come to expect from a Rick Steves tour. I shared the feelings of pilgrims who had visited the place since the Middle Ages. I highly recommend this tour. I felt like I was in the heart of rural England. Three fun-loving, student-run companies compete for your business. I was glad it included Stonehenge. This was my 3rd visit to Stonehenge but Then we'll hike the trails that top the towering chalk cliffs of the South Downs, wander into the beachy resort of Brighton (England's Coney Island), and push on to Portsmouth, whose naval heritage has left it with the best collection of historic sailing ships anywhere. Being the first people at Stonehenge, in the early morning light was sublime. Can't forget going up the scaffolding at the Canterbury Cathedral, this was something I thought I would not be able to do, but our group was very encouraging and I did it! He loved to vacation by the sea and host glamorous parties. That was a major disappointment for me, but it turned out to be the only real disappointment of the tour. The group was got along right from the first and everyone to the no grumps rule seriously. I really enjoyed places which I would not have visited if on my own, Beachy head, Portmouth, St Ives, south downs, Dartmoor etc. Tom efficiently led us on the journey of a lifetime! Overall a great experience! Taking this tour was actually a bit of a compromise for us. ", "Jim's delivering us to the door of the Chagford hotel. ", "We visited world famous Stonehenge and that was impressive. Relationships with fellow travelers were outstanding. Some of the climbing was challenging for me but i trudged on and it was so worth it to see the beauty at the top of a hill at Dartmoor, and the top of St Michael's Mount, not to mention the view from our room at the Penzance Hotel. Two centuries later, Nelson's England clearly enjoys its hard-won freedom. Sleep in Canterbury. Dan expertly manipulating the full sized coach through the 'New' Forest and all the little, scenic, barely 1 lane roads/streets. A walking stick helped me manage uneven surfaces such as Dartmoor and Dover Cliffs. "My "wow" day was the visit to Dover and touring the WWII tunnels.". Time seems to have stood still in some of the villages and one is immediately charmed. Our tour guide Tom, a true English treasure, Assistant Jen and our driver Paul were a fantastic trio. Taste delicious seafood, comforting cream teas, and hearty ales. All of the hotels were charming and we had some glorious views of Cathedrals, harbors and even somber and spooky cemeteries. The huge rotisserie could cook enough meat to feed a hundred hungry guests. "The special tour with the masons helping to restore parts of Canterbury Cathedral. We had a wonderful time. There was a good variation of villages to tour and have a fair idea about the country side. Any time between April and October is a good time to visit England. I was on my own this trip - these tours are terrific for solo travelers! Suddenly these beaches were accessible to the working-class masses and Brighton has been "London by the Sea" ever since. They made sure to make everything run efficiently and at the same time make each of us feel special.We are looking forward to our next Rick Steve's adventure. After lunch we'll take a short walk to explore the White Cliffs, famous for their geology and historic role. Very active tour, short bus rides and lots of free time to explore on our own. It was lots of fun. All sorts of Tudor-era items were found: personal belongings, weaponry, a backgammon board, and even the skeleton of Hatch, the ship's dog. Daily Dose of Europe: Westminster Abbey — The National Soul of England . Sleep in Salisbury. "I had no "wow" moment. We came back from our walk and had a 1/2 pint I the local pub. The 4 Most Gorgeous Châteaux in France's Loire Valley. We'll begin the day learning all about Cornwall's most famous culinary contribution — the pasty — with a demonstration (and sampling!) "The entire visit at St. Michael's Mount. For a leisurely, water-level view of Canterbury, consider a cruise on the River Stour. The tour itself is well thought out and planned. So glad I got to get to places and have experiences I may not have been able to do on my own. The king's other passion? 1) One of the smallest groups, 23 with Guide It had about a 10-year window of invincibility. It was a thrill to hear the choir in such a beautiful place. "No one "wow" moment. For a different (and many say better) view from the cliffs, as well as a fascinating look at one of the world's busiest ports, head east of town to the White Cliffs of Dover Visitor Centre (2.5 miles along a footpath east of town). Tour bookends of the special rooftop Canterbury Cathedral tour and the glorious time in Glastonbury. Sleep in Canterbury. Before posting, please read our Community Guidelines. Underneath a sail-like tower, its formerly gritty industrial waterfront has been transformed into a vital shopping and restaurant complex. I like England in peak season — long days, best weather, and there're enough people out for things to be lively…but never really a crowd problem. I also loved participating in the pasty-making demo and witnessing the talents of the stained glass restorers at Canterbury Cathedral.". A vast grassy field, wild yet pure as a putting green, reaches up to a dramatic, white-chalk cliff that stretches for miles with the open sea beyond and the crashing surf 500 feet below. No local culture was added to tour. "Dartmoor Tors and South Cliffs tell the story of a 400 million year old (myo) sea, a 270 myo granite batholith volcanic intrusive, forming Tin/metals concentrations that explain people's attraction to Cornwall and Devon settlements from Roman times to 20th century modern times.". Thank You! And finally, the Merrivale prehistoric stones in Dartmoor were extraordinary! This is what made our trip worth sharing: If there were enemies, troops based here fended them off. Bus: 4 hours. Despite the rain (thanks US hurricanes), we all had a wonderful time. It was so much more than a vacation. Not really any complaints. The pasties were also fun!". We rented a car and from Yorkshire drove to the Cotswolds, on to the city of Bath and then into Cornwall. It boasts a classic pub interior with fun walls to read, rustic picnic tables on the green, popular burgers and fish-and-chips, and five comfy but pricey rooms for rent. Picturesque St. Ives and the fish and chips dinner we had there! "Dartmoor Park walking through the bronze age sites.". Tom Hooper had all the appropriate skills to make the tour most enjoyable; he even made the weather delightful in England. Our tours are physically active! I have been to several of the places that the tour took us to, but I was happy to go again with an experienced guide. The little stone circle out on the moors in Devon and the Mead toast. At the tip of the ramparts, formerly salty old pubs now serve not sailors but a trendy crowd. Please sign in to post. The huge Battle of Trafalgar ensued. Great guide, fantastic fellow travelers, and excellent weather. A great tour. Of course there were some favorite and less so things but all in all just terrific, "Lanhydrock....the gardens are incredible Loved Salisbury. This was our 13th RS tour so I guess you could say we enjoy the RS style of travel. If you can ignore the garish arcade games, you might be able to imagine yourself as a Victorian Londoner out on holiday. Like Brighton itself, the place smacks of faded elegance — but it's still fun to tour. A "Wow" rating. 5. "Hmmmmmm. "I think that for myself the most impressive part was simply learning more of the history of England and why it underpins our own history. Marvel at the iconic White Cliffs of Dover, sweeping moorlands of Dartmoor, ancient stone circles, cliff-perched villages, and great sailing ships. "The day we were at Portsmouth was a wow day for me. Group dinners were very good. blondie293 asked a question Apr 2017. "I'm not sure I can put my finger on a single Wow moment but I do know that Tom never ceased to amaze me with his knowledge and wit and that alone made it a Wow moment every minute.". While Nelson was killed, the British emerged victorious. His humor was an asset that so improved our experience. "For me, we chose this tour because it included Stonehenge. Our hotels were located conveniently with some of them having interesting quirks. Salisbury strolls and market are lively. We had a beautiful clear day and from the moment I crossed that new Bridge I felt the magic! Get inspired with Rick Steves’ recommended places to go and things to do, with tips, photos, videos, and travel information on England. Fantastic tour of Southern England. People keep asking me that question. "This is always a hard question to answer. "So many to choose from: (Walkers have priority over horses and bicycles, and while motorized vehicles are not allowed on the SDW itself, much of the path runs along farm tracks, so you may encounter fearsome tractors.) Rick Steves' Europe. We rode a construction elevator up nine stories on the outside of the cathedral. beautiful country, "visiting "portwhenn (Doc Martins village in 50 mph wind storm So knowledgeable and enthusiastic. Other great times, Stonehenge, because I had wanted to go there since I was a little girl. Olympia, WA. ", This really was a delightful tour along the south of England. Bus: 4 hours. The hotels we stayed in were all so lovely, some having been built in medieval times. Loved Canterbury. Most tour members arrange to fly in and out of London's Heathrow (LHR) or Gatwick (LGW) and take a train or bus to Canterbury (where the tour begins), and from Bath (where the tour ends). We'll end our day peacefully, amidst the thatched roofs and timber-framed buildings of quaint Alfriston. Be on your feet, walking and standing, for up to three hours, indoors and outdoors, in all weather conditions. We also toured the Museum of the Royal Navy and the Battle of Trafalgar Museum while there. Alfriston was the most charming, perfect time capsule of a village. We are hoping that when we tour Paris he will be our gifted guide!! A bit more free time would have been appreciated. "I loved seeing the Mary Rose in Portsmouth. The tour was wonderful from the beginning to the end. Rick: Ah, that's why. 2) Outstanding tour guide, Liz We had an amazing guide and an expert bus driver, "It was astonishing to see Canterbury Cathedral, not just with the usual tour, but a specially arranged visit to the roof, hosted by the construction crew! Italy. Harold was killed — according to legend, by an arrow in the eye — and William became "William the Conqueror.". The group of travelers with us were wonderful and enjoyable!!! This trip combined with The Best of England tour, which my wife and I took immediately after gave us a wonderful first experience in England. St Michael's Mount tide change that exposed the walk way! Just over two years later he was sainted, and Canterbury became a prime destination for religious pilgrims. Amazing!". Oct 8, 2019 - Explore England with Rick Steves' Europe. I had toured extensively around the world with my husband. It was beautiful. His king-sized kitchen was one of the most innovative of its time. Mark Seymour, our guide was part geologist, part historian and mind opening Enthusiast. However, the months of April, May, September, and October are best for offering fewer crowds, mild weather, and the full range of tourist fun. Share this: Print; Email; Facebook; Twitter; Pocket; Pinterest; Reddit; Filed Under: England, Travel, Videos Places: Cornwall, Devon, Dover Tagged With: dover, rick steves. Bus: 3 hours. Emerging from the tunnels, visitors gaze toward France. Southeast coast of England wonderful people and environment of the Cathedral there pasty demonstration! Idea about the original and restoration process for building this medal roof helping to restore parts of Canterbury Cathedral ``. Far into the European mainstream the photos I could n't get to and exceeded expectations. `` excited it... Much and met great people and had a few weeks before our flight we... `` the whole itinerary, great guide '' part 's important 'cause there are many great places to visit.. 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