Cosmos Britain tour

Aug 23rd, 2005, 03:52 AM
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Cosmos Britain tour

I am thinking of going on the British Panorama Tour, a 6 day tour around britain which includes abit of Scotland. Has anyone been on this tour or any Britain tour with Cosmos, would appreciate your comments on your experiences. Also one concern I have is in the description it mentioned that the tour "passes" the Stonehedge, and stops in Bath. Does that mean the bus will simply drive by Stonehedge without stopping for us to visit the site and take pictures, get some explanations from the guide?

Also do you have any suggestions on other short Britain tour (6 days or less, that includs Scotland and Stonehedge).
Thanks so much!
cheriek is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2005, 03:57 AM
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I don't know the tour but if they merely say it passes Stonehenge, then I'm sure that is all you will be doing without stopping off.
Stonehenge is next to the main road route through the area so you get quite a good look as you drive past, but if you want a proper visit you will need to find a different tour.
nona1 is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2005, 08:26 AM
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Any general tour of the UK in only 6 days will be basically a bus trip blur. It is a larger country than you might think.

If the tour brochure says you'll "see" or "pass" such and such it means exactly that. You will glimpse it through the bus window - more than likely the bus will not even slow down as you drive past.

"Stop at" in tour description-ese means the bus will stop but you will not go inside if it is a place w/ admissions. If it is a town instead - like Bath - it means you will stop for a bit but probably not long enough to "visit" any sites.

"Visit" means the bus will stop AND you will go inside

There is no way that a 6 day tour that includes London, Stonehenge, Bath and "a bit of Scotland" is worth the expense. You will not get a chance to see/do much besides ride on buses for lond periods every day.

Why not just go to England on your own? 6 days is not long enough to "do" England AND Scotland. You could stay 4 or 5 days in London and 1 or 2 days in Bath (and actually be able to "visit" Stonehenge).
janis is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2005, 08:50 AM
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Another thing to keep in mind is that on many of these bus tours a good many of the "visits" seem to be at souvenir shops - or a 30 minute visit to the castle followed by another 30 in the souvenir shop.

Agree with the poster above - you will enjoy a trip like this much more - and see what YOU are interested in - if you do it yourself.
nytraveler is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2005, 10:40 AM
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Strongly agree with the above posters. You'll only get a panorama of London having spent only 6 days there, let alone Britain. Skip the tour and do it on your own. By the way, it's Stonehenge, not Stonehedge.
aschie30 is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2005, 11:57 AM
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Affordable tours has a discussion board by tour company, you can post the same question there. There may be reports from this tour.

I think there will be at least a photo stop. You can call Cosmos or e-mail.
FainaAgain is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2005, 12:10 PM
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Cosmos is a budget operator. Read the brochure carefully. Passes by usually means just that.
going_places is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2005, 04:56 PM
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we used Cosmos for a three week tour of Great Britain in October of 2001 because I didn't want to drive. Biggest mistake ever. The hotels were old and awful. Even the tour guide was complaining about them, along with everything else in the world.

As noted above "pass by" means just that.
ronkala is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2005, 05:23 PM
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FainaAgain: "I think there will be at least a photo stop."

Unfortunately not true. Unless the brochure specifically states "stop at Stonehenge" the coach does not stop -- it literally "passes" the stones and the passengers will have to run to that side in hopes of getting a quick snapshot through the windows while the bus tools down the A303 on the way to Bath.
janis is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2005, 06:31 PM
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I agree with the other posters--a six-day tour of England and Scotland will be too whirlwind to really see anything. You are better off to pick one or the other as a home base--London or Edinburgh, I would think--and see things in that city, then take a day trip if there is something you are particularly interested in. My suggestion is to spend your six days in London, and if Stonehedge is important to you, take a day bus trip to Bath and Stonehedge. At least your bus will stop there (although, as always, it is best to confirm that before you book!). You can easily spend six days just in London and not begin to see everything of interest: Westminster Abbey, St. Paul's, Tower of London, British Museum, Tate Modern, Kensington and Buckingham Palaces (if the latter is open when you travel); Trafalgar Square, Covent Garden, plays, concerts--the list is endless. To get out of the city, you can take a train to Windsor or Hampton Court, or Greenwich. If you prefer Scotland, you could spend 3 days each in Edinburgh and Glasgow, or again, stay in Edinburgh and take a day trip or two if you wish. But the bus tour you describe will be very rushed--I haven't seen the schedule, but I'm going to assume you will be staying in different places each night, packing and unpacking, and in the end, barely remember anything but the bus. Oh, and remember, you will be jet-lagged the first day! (And I'm not a critic of organized tours in general. I did a 2-week Globus tour of England and France that was really great. But what it did was make me want to go back to certain places where I wanted to spend more time. As an overview, however, it was excellent. But 6 days is very hectic.)
MaureenGP is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2005, 06:41 PM
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Cosmos' British Panorama is actually a 9-day London/London tour, 10 if you include the evening departure from the US. Not 6 days.

But Cosmos write their brochure very carefully. They would have used the words "stop at" or "visit". But it uses the words "passes by". So, getting off the coach is clearly not in the itinerary.
rkkwan is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2005, 07:08 PM
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You could consider basing yourself in London for a few days and doing a day trip to Bath (via rail) and a minibus tour to Stonehenge (1/2 day). E.g.: Then, you could head up to Scotland for a couple of days if you wish not to spend the remaining time in London ...You could even go directly to Bath and arrange to visit Stonehenge from there. Some lovely hotels there and quite a lot to see in the town itself...This would not be too onerous to do as an individual and you would likely save $$...

victoria_reynolds is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2005, 10:12 PM
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I've taken two Cosmos tours and thoroughly recommend them. The hotels were adequate on both tours. They are normally 3 star or better. The only time we stopped at "tourist traps" were for lavatory breaks. You will find there will be stops at places that offer tourist/photographic opportunities. I would be very surprised if Stonehenge was not included as a stop. Either email Cosmos to confirm this or check with your travel agent.

I agree with the above posts regarding the whirlwind nature of the tour. We have just completed the 15 day tour of Spain. It was fantastic but boy, talk about "flying by the seat of your pants". I would STRONGLY recommend doing just one place eg. England. The trap is thinking you are covering so much in a short period of time. The reality is most of your time is spent travelling on the coach - boring!

Have fun.
worldinabag is offline  
Aug 24th, 2005, 03:34 AM
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Iíve had a look at this tour on the web, and frankly it looks more of an ordeal than a holiday. It is far too ambitious, and has some rather odd choices of destinations. To be specific:

Days 1-3: London. Fine, the hotelís in Kensington which is a nice area.

Day 4: London - Salisbury - bath - Cardiff. All nice places, but you will simply be rushed around them, and wont see any of them in any kind of detail. Iím also staggered that a tour would drive past one of the worldís great ancient monuments and you will only see it from a bus window!

Day 5: Cardiff - Wrexham. Wrexham? For a holiday? Itís almost pythonesque. Wrexham is a tip (think Liverpool with a welsh accent).

Day 6: Wrexham - Chester - lake district - Edinburgh. How fast does this bus go? This is a long day.

Day 7 Edinburgh: Nice.

Day 8 Edinburgh - Rotherham. Just when youíve got over Wrexham they do this to you. Rotherham is a run down ex industrial town with pretty much no redeeming features. Again - this is pythonesque. A holiday in Rotherham?

Itís your choice, but this itinery will drive you nuts.
david_west is offline  
Aug 24th, 2005, 04:44 AM
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Some of the stops they make - like Wrexham or Rotherham - are simply places to stay overnight. I'm sure those are chosen because they can get good deals from specific hotels.
rkkwan is offline  
Aug 24th, 2005, 04:56 AM
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David_west: OMG! Thanks for posting the tour details. I should have looked them up myself.

I can almost (ALMOST) understand Wrexham since they will drive through some lovely country in Hereford/Shropshire and the Welsh border counties. But you are right about it being Pythonesque.

BUT - Rotherham???? they have GOT to be kidding.

And days 4 and 6 are just nuts. London > Salisbury > Stonehenge > Bath > Cardiff means about 6 hours just drive time and not enough time to "visit" much at all.

and Wrexham > Chester > Lakes > Edinburgh - Blink and they'll miss Ullswater as they get back on the motorway . . . . .

cheriek: This is a horrible itinerary. The only decent bits are stays in London and Edinburgh, and those are too short to see much.
janis is offline  
Aug 24th, 2005, 07:33 AM
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This is what is known in Cambridge as a "look-n-lick" tour, as in bus stops outside college, passengers grab a quick ice-cream, take a quick look at exterior of college, get back onto bus.
Aug 24th, 2005, 08:36 AM
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If the OP really has only 6 days, and want to see some of Scotland and Stonehenge, it's still possible. Fly to/from Edinburgh and spend a night there. Salisbury/Stonehenge for a day trip from London (may even include Bath if you make it a really long day trip). Still have 3 days left in London.

If the OP has 9 days, then an overnight trip to Bath/Salisbury/Stonehenge. Then fly or train to Edinburgh for 2 nights, and then train to York for one night - making it 4-day trip.

Still have 3 days left in London.

Or something like that.
rkkwan is offline  
Aug 24th, 2005, 02:06 PM
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Stay in London and do trips yourself. If you want to see Edinburgh it is quite feasible as a train trip and you'll get to see a lot of scenery on the way. Looking at the rail site, the journey takes exactly 3 and a half hours (plus 2 minutes!) by train and a return ticket will be around £100. So leave at 7 and be in Edinburgh by 11.30, spend the day there probably seeing a lot more than on a rushed bus tour, and leave after dinner to get back to London around midnight?
nona1 is offline  

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