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Globus Tour Highlights of Britain & Ireland

Globus Tour Highlights of Britain & Ireland

Old Oct 31st, 2012, 07:16 PM
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Globus Tour Highlights of Britain & Ireland

Planning to visit UK in July 2013 I am wondering anyone can share their experience on Globus tour in UK.

I joined their Italy tour and was happy with their arrangements, e.g. jumped the queue to see the Vatican city. I was not impressed with the optional dinners I went to 4 of them I found they were over priced.

Since England is a much smaller country, same language and drive "on the right" side. I am wondering whether I can do it myself. How's driving in UK comparing to Australia??
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Old Oct 31st, 2012, 07:21 PM
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My mistake on the size of England and Italy
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Old Oct 31st, 2012, 10:50 PM
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Sorry - but that is a GAWD awful itinerary. Really awful.

DAY 1Arrive in London, England

DAY 2London
Morning sightseeing includes all the famous landmarks: the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben beside the River Thames, Westminster Abbey, Whitehall’s mounted horseguards and the Prime Minister’s Downing Street, Piccadilly Circus, and Buckingham Palace. Visit ST. PAUL’S CATHEDRAL and the ceremonial pageantry of the Changing of the Guard, (Breakfast)

DAY 3London–Stonehenge–Salisbury–Bath–Newport, Wales
Depart London at 8 am for a memorable day of sightseeing: visit the Gardens of Hampton Court Palace. Enjoy a welcome dinner at your hotel. (Breakfast, Dinner)

DAY 4Newport–Cardiff–Waterford, Ireland
An orientation in the Welsh capital features the major attractions: Cardiff Castle, Cathays Park, and the stately civic buildings. Continue along the South Wales coast to Fishguard, where your FERRY is waiting. Sail across St. George’s Channel to Rosslare and proceed by coach to Waterford. After dinner this evening, enjoy a Local Favorite IRISH COFFEE. (Breakfast, Dinner)

DAY 5Waterford–Blarney–Killarney
Guided tour of the HOUSE OF WATERFORD CRYSTAL. Via the city of Cork, motor to Blarney, and then on to Killarney for a two-night stay. Later, join an entertaining optional evening in Tralee with dinner followed by tickets for Siamsa Tire National Folk Theatre. (Breakfast)

DAY 6Killarney. Ring of Kerry Excursion
Follow the road known as the RING OF KERRY for a spectacular 100-mile panoramic drive around the island’s southwestern tip. This afternoon, maybe an optional fun-filled horse-drawn jaunting car ride. (Breakfast)

DAY 7Killarney–Adare–Limerick–Kildare–Dublin
Drive to Adare, and in Limerick, your orientation drive acquaints you with St. Mary’s Cathedral, King John’s Castle, and the stone where the Treaty of Limerick was signed in 1691. The Rock of Cashel, where St. Patrick preached, is on the way to the IRISH NATIONAL STUD at Kildare. Tonight, you may wish to enjoy an optional Irish cabaret evening. (Breakfast)

DAY 8Dublin
Get an overview of Ireland’s capital as you drive to statue-lined O’Connell Street, elegant Georgian squares, and St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Visit Oscar Wilde’s TRINITY COLLEGE, famous for the 1,200-year-old Book of Kells and the magnificent Old Library. Why not join an optional dinner evening at the Guinness Storehouse? (Breakfast)

DAY 9Dublin–Downpatrick, Northern Ireland–Belfast
On your way to Northern Ireland, cross the River Boyne, then drive in the lee of the Mountains of Mourne to Downpatrick. Stop at the SAINT PATRICK CENTRE, Then, travel on to Belfast for a “Living History” tour. See all the famous landmarks including the Parliament House at Stormont, City Hall, the Albert Memorial Clock Tower, and Queens University. (Breakfast, Dinner)

DAY 10Belfast–Edinburgh, Scotland
First thing this morning, visit the TITANIC EXHIBITION. Next, board your FERRY to cross the North Channel to Cairnryan Scotland and continue through the Scottish borders to Edinburgh. Tonight, enjoy our optional Scottish evening with Highland dancers, bagpipers, and the Ceremony of the Haggis. (Breakfast)

DAY 11Edinburgh
Morning city sightseeing introduces you to the 200-year-old “New Town”. In the “Old Town,” drive up the narrow Royal Mile to EDINBURGH CASTLE to admire Scotland’s Crown Jewels, then explore HOLYROOD PALACE. For departures July 23 through August 13, tickets are included for the world-renowned MILITARY TATTOO. (Breakfast)

DAY 12Edinburgh–York, England
Relax and enjoy vistas of the beautiful North Sea coastline as you drive via Berwick-upon-Tweed to Alnwick. In York, visit YORK MINSTER, Then, follow your Tour Director through a maze of quaint streets, including the narrow Shambles. (Breakfast, Dinner)

DAY 13York–Coventry–Stratford-Upon-Avon
In Coventry, view the modern cathedral that rose from the rubble of World War II bombings, and in Stratford-upon-Avon, take your pictures of Anne Hathaway’s Cottage and visit SHAKESPEARE’S BIRTHPLACE. (Breakfast, Dinner)

DAY 14Stratford-Upon-Avon–London
Today’s spectacular highlight is a guided tour of magnificent BLENHEIM PALACE. Depart after lunch and return to London at about 3:30 pm. (Breakfast)

DAY 15London
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (Breakfast)
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Old Oct 31st, 2012, 10:54 PM
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Have done two UK tours with Globus. Good tour company. But yes, the optionals are usually a waste of time and money. Their tour guides are usually wonderful, compared to other tour groups I have used. I have never driven in the UK...seems simple enough in the rural areas....the roundabouts scare the heck out of me.
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Old Oct 31st, 2012, 10:54 PM
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OOPS- didn't mean to click submit.

If you are from OZ the driving will be easy - but MUCH slower than you are used to.

If you do decide to travel independently, don't even dream of covering that much territory unless you have 5-ish weeks.
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Old Oct 31st, 2012, 10:56 PM
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Just curious, Janisj--How do you know that is the particular tour they are thinking about?
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Old Oct 31st, 2012, 10:59 PM
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Oops ---sorry, Janisj...just reread the post title.
One comment..I know many travelers don't like tours...fine.
I find the advantages outweigh the disadvantages...To each his own.
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Old Oct 31st, 2012, 11:30 PM
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Also, must agree with Janisj that this particular tour is rather "fast and furious." I took the "in depth" tour a few years ago, which was something like 25-26 days, and the Highlands-Islands one, about two weeks...Loved both..Found both to be well-paced. The biggest complaint, and one you must expect, is that there is often one or two people on the tour who are not fun to travel with. Most are wonderful..especially the ones from Australia. Of course, which tour depends on the original posters time, budget.
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Old Nov 1st, 2012, 02:22 AM
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"How's driving in UK comparing to Australia??2

Similarish. But it's the differences that matter

- London traffic's about the same as Sydney's, though urban route finding is a great deal tougher throughout Britain if you're trying to find a place in a town (In UK cities Satnav is often close to useless, and sometimes worse than useless). Signage getting out is overall better than Sydney. Parking's tougher to find and pricier, and London's congestion charge adds more to the cost.

- Driving in heritage cities like Bath or Oxford is an experience nothing in Australia will equip you for. Just say no, and leave your car at the peripheral Park & Ride

- Other smaller towns are generally as tricky to navigate round the centre of as London, but with less disciplined traffic. Parking in the centre's about as rare (though there's usually lots adjacent to urban malls, which are rarely more than a few hundred yards from tourist attractions) and not a lot cheaper than London.

- On the rare undertrafficked motorway (like the M40 from London to Birmingham), driving speeds are actually higher than in law-abiding Australia: the police generally ignore speeds below 90 mph on them. Over 100's a serious offence.

- A very large proportion of Britain's (and especially England's) roads are seriously overtrafficked, though. Speed limits on them are just drivers' fantasies, achieved only in the middle of the night (and on some major motorways, not even then). A huge proportion of the relatively few major rural roads that aren't self-limiting have camera-enforced 50 mph limits. Fining is often automatic.

- Transport is the one subject about which whingeing is socially acceptable in Britain. We once managed to export all carriers of the whingeing gene. Some carriers' offspring came back on OE, bred, and the gene's re-established, but under control. Contrary to those whingers' moans, though, public transport in Britain is, by most countries' standards, plentiful, frequent, speedy and comfortable. It's not difficult to organise a tour without a car at all, and in some parts of the country a car is an expensive nuisance. Public transport doesn't go to every village, though (at least not when most tourists want it to), so most people mix cars, buses and trains.
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Old Nov 1st, 2012, 04:50 AM
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I like tours, but have to agree with janisj on this one. It is like a drive by movie - no time to ever enjoy local culture and no extra time to see anything of special interest in places like Dublin. So much bus time! You are always so disconnected from the places you visit unless you can get out and walk and meet people and try local foods, see little shops, etc. Some tours allow a little time for that. This one doesn't even allow time to actually visit highlights in places like London and Dublin. Very bad tour, IMHO.
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Old Nov 1st, 2012, 06:29 AM
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I agree with Janisj. You won't SEE anything but a green-and-plaid blur out the window. I would be panting for breath! 4 countries in 15 days? Wow. I would take, at MOST, half of that tour and do it in the same time period. Even better to cut it into fourths and do four tours!

Driving in the UK and Ireland has its challenges, but it is not too difficult to get used to. Not so much of the wide-open spaces and straight roads that Australia and the US favor, more windy, twisty one-track roads with 7 foot hedges up to the edge of the road - hiding stone walls - and sheep in the middle of it. But that's part of the charm.

Take a chunk of the above itinerary that you like best, and we'll help you figure out your own tour, if you like.
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Old Nov 1st, 2012, 02:40 PM
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Driving in the UK is different from Australia because Aussies are actually patient and polite drivers and in the UK the locals drive like a bunch of Europeans. Of course, that's somewhat to be expected.

That itinerary really does suck rocks. Rethink taking the tour. And if you're less than 40, avoid it - Globus gets a lot of oldies.
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Old Nov 2nd, 2012, 09:32 AM
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Have to take issue with BigRuss, at least in part. On the two Globus tours I have taken, the average age was 50ish, with a couple of teen-agers and a couple in their 70's. So if 50 is old, well count me in. We have traveled Europe on our own and with tours. When visiting a country for the first time, tours are invaluable. A guide meets you at the airport, takes you into the city and the hotel, you never have to handle your own luggage from the time you initially check in at the airport until you pick it up back home. The guides, at least in our experience, are wonderful sources of history, tips, etc. Yes, some tours are rushed, like this one, but some are fantastic.
I often wonder if people who condemn tours, have actually taken any????? So, EuropePJV2011, don't be put off a tour entirely, just maybe this particular one...If you think a tour it is right for you, go for it and don't be bullied. P.S. I do not work for a tour company...just think they deserve respect that they don't seem to get on this board.
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Old Nov 2nd, 2012, 11:37 AM
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Yeah, I've taken tours, enjoyed them, and I condemn them routinely now that I'm not single. I can lift my own bags, and set up my own travel arrangements in countries where I'm completely illiterate (Japan).

Even enjoying the groups I was with, if I had a real notion of exploring a country, learning about the area and its culture and being independent, I'd avoid a tour. Plus, the included dinners in most countries are poor (not so for Italy). The OP may really be up a creek for an Ireland/UK tour.

Globus caters to 50+ and folks like my aunt and uncle who took a tour a year when they were in their late 50s, 60s and 70s (when my still-robust uncle in his mid/late 70s would make waves by complaining "there's too many OLLLLLLLDDDDD people on this bus").

And yeah, 50+ is old for folks in their low 30s or 20s (which is why there's a market for Contiki).

Ultimately, Ireland and the UK are great for Americans to tour on their own because the residents speak some form of English and the historical records, guidebooks, national trust workers, etc are generally very good.
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Old Nov 2nd, 2012, 01:55 PM
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I said right off that I like tours, just not that one, which is still, IMHO, really bad! The OP may need to look for a tour that travels less distance and goes to fewer places, but allows more time for actual sight seeing.
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Old Nov 2nd, 2012, 02:40 PM
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Driving in England is not necessary. Depending on your itinerary, you can get around by train and bus.

When traveling independently, you can pick up walking tours and one-day (or more) bus sightseeing tours. Or even hire a private guide. This allows you to customize your trip to your own special interests. In the UK, blue badge guides know their subject in depth. And we've twice had docents give us a private tour of a cathedral (Winchester and Durham). Both docents were very knowledgeable.

And if you're traveling by yourself, you can take more time at sites of particular interest, read all the explanatory plaques, instead of hurrying back to the bus and on to the next sight.

All of which is to say, you can get much more information traveling independently than on guided bus tour, especially if you just drive by.

If you plan to spend any time in London, look at www.walks.com. They have a tremendous choice of tours. Mostly two-hour walking tours but also all day exploration tours further afield. You just show up at the meeting place, pay up and go. That way, if it's raining and you'd prefer to go the British Museum, you can, having made no commitment.
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Old Nov 2nd, 2012, 10:39 PM
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Appreciate all your input.

I discovered this site last year before I went on to Italy ( with Globus ), Austria and Germany ( by hiring a car ). The information are always helpful!

I appreciate the advantage of joing a tour, i.e. not much reserch required before the trip, transport in a major city, jumping the queue for the toruist spots, the tour guide is especially helpful for places like Vitican city and Accademia.

However I also enjoy a much leisure trip by going at my own pace, eat, stay and rest whenever I like. I enjoyed my experience with B&B in Austria and Germany.

I am not a city person I enjoy visiting interesting towns ( Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Bamberg), market places and doing what the local would do.

I have no intention to drive in London. I am getting frustrated by peak hour traffic in Sydney.

Thank you. Will give a bit more thoughts before I come back to seek more advices.
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Old Nov 2nd, 2012, 10:46 PM
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"I have no intention to drive in London"

No one even suggested driving in London. Even most Londoners don't do that. When we talk about driving - we mean in the countryside.

" . . . jumping the queue for the toruist spots, . . ."

If you note on this particular Globus tour, they don't include very many sites that have any sort of queues to jump.
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Old Nov 3rd, 2012, 08:23 AM
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One of the few crimes that will get you strung up in the UK
" jumping the queue for the toruist spots"

Globus trip looks desperate
I'd read the Rough Guide for UK
Then use trains mainly (there is a good site for combining trains and buses at http://www.transportdirect.info/Web2...epeatingloop=Y which gives you a good idea of what can be done.

All guidance above pretty good.
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Old Nov 5th, 2012, 05:53 AM
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>However I also enjoy a much leisure trip by going at my own pace, eat, stay and rest whenever I like. I enjoyed my experience with B&B in Austria and Germany.

>I am not a city person I enjoy visiting interesting towns ( Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Bamberg), market places and doing w
what the local would do.

These two statements lead me to believe you would enjoy doing it on your own much more. I, also, love the charming towns - and I love doing research to find the right ones, those that are good hubs for exploring the surrounding area. I also love finding the lovely, homey B&Bs that have wonderful hosts that help us find the hidden spots. They are, by far, the best resource for such things.

Driving in London - totally unnecessary. London has a great tube and bus system that will take you just about anywhere. Outside of the city, driving is fine - it just takes some adjustment. Driving on your own allows you to say 'oh, I wonder where this road leads? There's a brown sign - might be something fun! Let's go explore!'
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