I had a wonderful time on the Heart of England Tour earlier in September (12th – 16th). Steve was an excellent tour guide and added so much to the trip. There were only a few of us on the journey and we received such personalized attention. Rabbies is to be commended for running their tours regardless of the number of people who sign up.
The tour began on Friday morning, departing from Victoria Coach Station, and we drove to Stratford upon Avon and then to the Ironbridge area on the River Severn, before driving the rest of the way to Shrewsbury where the tour spent two nights. The bed and breakfast where we were booked, The Trevellion House, was delightful. Sonia took excellent care of all of her guests, there was a cooked to order breakfast, and the single room that I stayed in had a very comfortable double bed and a spacious bathroom.
Saturday was spent in Wales. In the town of Conwy, we explored the ruins of Conwy Castle and did a tour of Plas Mawr, an Elizabethan house that was really amazing. In the afternoon we drove into the Snowden National Park and enjoyed the beautiful scenery and learned that the sheep outnumber people in Wales 10 to 1.
On Sunday morning we said goodbye to Shrewsbury and drove into the Peak District. Our first stop was at the spa town of Buxton, known as the Bath of the North. Then onto Chatsworth! The house and gardens were truly something to see, you could easily spend an entire day there. After driving to York, Steve dropped us off at our accommodations, and I had a great dinner at Jamie’s Italian restaurant.
I stayed at The Groves in York, which was a B and B style hotel. On Monday, I had a fun day seeing York Minster, the York Castle Museum, Clifford Tower, and walking around city, and had a nice late lunch at the most popular restaurant in the city, Rustique.
Tuesday was the last day of the tour, and we visited Cambridge for a few hours before returning to London. It was a great trip!
This was a wonderful trip and Lesley was a fantastic tour guide who managed to share a vast amount of information about higher education in Great Britain with such clarity that people of widely varying backgrounds were engaged and excited. We saw a great deal and it made me want to return and spend a day in Cambridge and several days in Oxford.
excellent guide, driver great. Cambridge and Oxford great places see, worth the time.
There is a lot of travelling on this trip, but I enjoyed it regardless. The guide was knowledgeable and pointed out sites of interest, Cambridge was picturesque and definitely worth a look. After the guided walk through there was time for a quick look in one or two of the other colleges. Oxford was also lovely but was much more structured, so less free time. Well worth seeing, and brilliant if you have limited time.
This was a very interesting trip, with a great tour guide who told us all sorts of interesting information. We had just about the right amount of time to explore both Cambridge and Oxford on our own a bit, as well as to get some souvenir shopping done. I would recommend this trip.
cambridge is so lovely oxford is so busy. long day but worth it
Very good tour, but very rushed, especially in Cambridge. Could have used one extra hour of free time in each location, but glad we went on the tour.
Good and informative trip , time was short to cover both Cambridge and Oxford in a day .
It was nice to visit the two universities but the amount of driving and time it takes to get to each site was too much! It takes nearly 1.5-2 hours to get to Cambridge, 1.5 hours between Cambridge and Oxford and then nearly 1.5 hours to come back to London. The campuses were lovely and the guide was excellent! If it were closer together, it would have been better!
Cambridge a little disappointing, Oxford has much more to see. If interested in feeling the atmosphere of the most important colleges, don't go there in August as I did. You will spend at least 6 hours on the bus and less than 4 hours visiting the two towns. Worth doing only if you just want to have a very quick pick of Oxbridge and tell everyone you've been there.
Our tour guide was excellent and gave us a good introduction to both universities. We really looked forward to seeing Oxford and Cambridge but didn't anticipate the density of the crowds in both towns. Photography was almost impossible. We are glad we took the tour but would like to spend more time in each place and at a less crowded season, if there is such a thing.
The guide, Chrissie, is professional in sharing the information of each place. She provides good background and history of the 2 colleges.
However, there was not enough time provided for exploring Cambridge and lunch. We had little time to walk around Cambridge before grabbing lunch to eat on the coach.
We were encouraged to bring non-hot food to lunch on the coach, while the guide brought hot coffee onto the coach. Talk about double standard.
The bus rides to Cambridge and between Cambridge and Oxford were quite long. Both universities are beautiful, but we didn't get much time to explore them both on our own. The parts of the universities we did see were amazing, but we also had to squeeze in lunch on our own during the "free time" we had. I think one day for each university would be better to fully appreciate both places.
Well worth doing as a day tour but as we all know a day tour just gives an overview of a place so you don't get too long in either town to see much, other than what the guide shows you. Long drive between Oxford and Cambridge and our guide and the driver were talking loudly the whole way so it was really hard to have a rest. Overall though not a bad day and good value if you don't have time to stay overnight in either town. Departure from Victoria coach could have been more prompt and they changed the gate without informing anyone.
The coach was comfortable however we felt a bit rushed for the tours. We understand that the guide and driver did not have control over the excess traffic due to the Underground strike, however it made it feel that we spent more time on the coach than we did in either Oxford or Cambridge. I'm not sure what could have been done to adjust for this, but it did take away from the tour. Our guide seemed very knowledgeable and gave us quite a bit of interesting information.
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