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Great Britain Heritage/England Heritage Passes - Worth the Money?

Great Britain Heritage/England Heritage Passes - Worth the Money?

Jul 6th, 2008, 03:23 PM
  #1  
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Great Britain Heritage/England Heritage Passes - Worth the Money?

Have just purchased the Historic Royal Palaces family membership, as it gives us free admission to Hampton Court, the Tower, Kew Palace, Kensington and Banqueting House - we will certainly be visiting at least 3 of those places during our August trip to England, so it seemed like a good deal. Plus, you skip the queues - which is also attractive, as crowds will be dense in August.

Can't wrap my head around the GBH Pass or the English Heritage Pass. We will be wanting to go to Roman Baths, Stonehenge, Warwick and Stratford on Avon - all those covered by the GBH Pass. But GBH Pass is limited to consecutive days, and is pricier than English Heritage.

On the website for the English Heritage Pass, it does not list the Roman Baths as a participating site. Nor does it say you can skip the queues with the English Pass. And most of the properties listed seem far flung. But maybe I'm missing something here.

Does anyone have experience with the GBH Pass versus the English Heritage Pass? They seem similar and I am already getting some of the same perks with the Historic Palace membership I just bought.

Perusing the forum, some people advise against these passes, but it seems for our purposes it may work out to be a good deal - if we get to see as much as I am planning to see. You know that once you are in a place, sometimes you don't have the time or energy to see everything you would have liked; being overly ambitious at the planning stage. Just wondering what others have experienced.
needsnow is offline  
Jul 6th, 2008, 03:35 PM
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but it seems for our purposes it may work out to be a good deal

Exactly! Everyone has different trip plans and the right pass for some is not for all. Enjoy your plans
scotlib is offline  
Jul 6th, 2008, 03:59 PM
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A GBHP is normally the best buy for sites outside of London.

Yes, it must be used on consecutive days -- but it covers everything covered by English Heritage, everything owned/managed but the National Trust, AND most of the privately owned sites.

That means a huge savings for most visitors. For instance Warwick Castle plus the 5 major Shakespeare properties in Stratford (none of which are covered by EH) are all covered by the GBHP and those 6 properties would cost more than a 4-day GBHP and nearly as much as a 7-day version. So w/ a 4-day GBHP (even though you folks are only planning to be out and about for 2+ days, a 4 days pass will save you quite a bit.

Stonehenge, Roman Baths, Warwick Castle, Stratford, Blenheim Palace if you can squeeze it in - plus a few sites in London like St Paul's. I think a 4-day GBHP is your best bet. And they do a family version which is an even bigger bargain.
janisj is online now  
Jul 6th, 2008, 04:06 PM
  #4  
 
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Oh - re advising against "these passes" - that is really only the London Pass, which is heavily marketed. That one is not a great deal - and can actually be a money loser for some visitors.

The GBHP and EH (and the National Trust's pass too) are all legit and save you money. But the GBHP saves the most. It does cost more, but that is because it covers many more places than the other two.
janisj is online now  
Jul 11th, 2008, 01:15 PM
  #5  
 
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Hello...

I was recently in the UK this past April and purchased the 14-day GBHP for myself and my traveling companion. WE used it daily in Wales and England and certainly got our money's worth. It actually helped to narrow down the places to go...if it was on the list and we were heading through, we stopped in. If you compare the admission prices of the places you are interested in seeing to the price of the card you will know if it is right for this trip for you. A word of advice though, be aware of the small list of places to pick up your card. Check them on-line and if none of them are convenient you may want to buy the pass on-line before you go. MAke sure it comes with the "smart chip" and isn't just a voucher. Check it all out on http://britishheritagepass.com/ Have a fantastic trip!
happywren is offline  
Jul 11th, 2008, 05:23 PM
  #6  
twk
 
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Ditto everything janisj said. If you are going to the right places (and that means mostly outside of London), the GBHP can be a great deal, and even better if you qualify for the family pass. We used it last summer and saved a bundle. The only place where we skipped any kind of a line (and really, the only place where we encountered ANY line at any site covered by the pass) was at Edinburgh Castle. Everywhere else, there was pretty much no line to deal with (unlike, say, trying to get into the major museums in Paris).
twk is offline  
Jul 11th, 2008, 07:57 PM
  #7  
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Thanks for the tips everyone.
Happywren- what is the smart chip? I should get moving on buying the card - as we are leaving in a few weeks. I will check into whether or not I still have time to get it online..you can get the smart chip card on line as well?
needsnow is offline  
Jul 11th, 2008, 08:16 PM
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Don't worry whether it has a smart chip or not. Some of the vendors send a plastic card GBHP, some others send a voucher, and some deal in both types depending on what they have in stock at the time. It really makes no difference in the grand scheme of things.
janisj is online now  
Jul 11th, 2008, 08:27 PM
  #9  
 
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Hi needsnow, I agree that the GBritish Heritage Pass is most useful.
We ordered this online, and the cards along with maps & lists of properties came in the mail within 10 days.
The card is activated on your first use.
With this pass, you are already saving if you can use it 4 or 5 times. On couple of the all day tours, we dropped in some of the most beautiful sites during our lunch breaks. These sites were on the list of GBHP, and we probably would have passed on these sites had they not been free with the Pass.
Minor draw back: we still had to queue up for admission tickets in some of the places. Edinburgh Castle was one with a long line; although admission is free with the Pass, the audio guide is not.
Enjoy your trip!
nancy161 is offline  
Jul 12th, 2008, 04:29 AM
  #10  
 
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Yes, the GBHP is worth it.
amelie is offline  
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