Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Where to visit in England & Wales + Rabbies tour advice

Where to visit in England & Wales + Rabbies tour advice

Old Feb 7th, 2020, 02:26 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 99
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Where to visit in England & Wales + Rabbies tour advice

I just posted a trip report about our trip to Scotland (Edinburgh and a Rabbies tour of the Highlands & Isle of Skye) here: Fell in love with the Scottish Highlands & Skye and I'd love some advice on our next trip! We just decided to plan a spontaneous trip in early April for another Rabbies tour (or two) and would love suggestions on where to go for 7-10 days in England and Wales since I haven't done any research yet on England and only a bit on Wales so far.

Would the scenery in Wales be similar to Scotland? I'm looking at the 5 day Discover Wales tour and spending a few days in London before and/or after the tour. (I would love to spend more time in London but I've heard it can be very expensive and we're also planning a larger trip later this year so we're looking to keep costs low with this trip.) However, I'm also thinking since we'll be there, maybe we'll add a 1-3 day tour with Rabbies somewhere in England along with the 5 day Wales tour and 2ish nights in London. Or perhaps we should do multiple 1-3 day tours instead of the 5 day Wales tour. Any recommendations on where we might enjoy? For reference, we love pretty views, history, and good food, but don't love museums or art. Shakespeare doesn't interest us so I'm not sure about Stratford-upon-Avon (I saw that as part of one of the Rabbies tours)

These are some of the tours I was looking at for 1-3 day tours from London: https://www.rabbies.com/en/england-tours

5 day Discover Wales: https://www.rabbies.com/en/england-t...les-5-day-tour
5 day heart of England, Wales, Yorkshire tour https://www.rabbies.com/en/england-t...ire-5-day-tour
3 day Isle of Wight and the Southern Coast https://www.rabbies.com/en/england-t...ast-3-day-tour
3 day Stonehenge, Glastonbury, Bath & the South West Coast https://www.rabbies.com/en/england-t...ast-3-day-tour
3 day Leeds Castle, White Cliffs & Flavours of Kent https://www.rabbies.com/en/england-t...ine-3-day-tour
2 day The Cotswolds, Bath & Oxford https://www.rabbies.com/en/england-t...ord-2-day-tour
3 day Snowdonia, North Wales & Chester (If we didn't do the 5 day Wales tour) https://www.rabbies.com/en/england-t...ter-3-day-tour

Thanks in advance for your suggestions!
kbmtravel is offline  
Old Feb 8th, 2020, 07:36 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 2,585
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by kbmtravel View Post
I just posted a trip report about our trip to Scotland (Edinburgh and a Rabbies tour of the Highlands & Isle of Skye) here: Fell in love with the Scottish Highlands & Skye and I'd love some advice on our next trip! We just decided to plan a spontaneous trip in early April for another Rabbies tour (or two) and would love suggestions on where to go for 7-10 days in England and Wales since I haven't done any research yet on England and only a bit on Wales so far.

Would the scenery in Wales be similar to Scotland? I'm looking at the 5 day Discover Wales tour and spending a few days in London before and/or after the tour. (I would love to spend more time in London but I've heard it can be very expensive and we're also planning a larger trip later this year so we're looking to keep costs low with this trip.) However, I'm also thinking since we'll be there, maybe we'll add a 1-3 day tour with Rabbies somewhere in England along with the 5 day Wales tour and 2ish nights in London. Or perhaps we should do multiple 1-3 day tours instead of the 5 day Wales tour. Any recommendations on where we might enjoy? For reference, we love pretty views, history, and good food, but don't love museums or art. Shakespeare doesn't interest us so I'm not sure about Stratford-upon-Avon (I saw that as part of one of the Rabbies tours)

These are some of the tours I was looking at for 1-3 day tours from London: https://www.rabbies.com/en/england-tours

5 day Discover Wales: https://www.rabbies.com/en/england-t...les-5-day-tour
5 day heart of England, Wales, Yorkshire tour https://www.rabbies.com/en/england-t...ire-5-day-tour
3 day Isle of Wight and the Southern Coast https://www.rabbies.com/en/england-t...ast-3-day-tour
3 day Stonehenge, Glastonbury, Bath & the South West Coast https://www.rabbies.com/en/england-t...ast-3-day-tour
3 day Leeds Castle, White Cliffs & Flavours of Kent https://www.rabbies.com/en/england-t...ine-3-day-tour
2 day The Cotswolds, Bath & Oxford https://www.rabbies.com/en/england-t...ord-2-day-tour
3 day Snowdonia, North Wales & Chester (If we didn't do the 5 day Wales tour) https://www.rabbies.com/en/england-t...ter-3-day-tour

Thanks in advance for your suggestions!
to be honest, your Scottish report sounded as though it had been written by Eeyore. Of that list, I think that Cotswolds, Bath and Oxford might be the best bet.
MissPrism is offline  
Old Feb 8th, 2020, 08:11 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 6,107
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I already posted on your other thread and highly recommended Rabbies tour of Cornwall. BTW, Wales is nothing like Scotland in regard to scenery. Wouldn’t worry too much about visiting a place included on a tour that might not initially appeal. Keep an open mind and you might be pleasantly surprised. For example Stratford Upon Avon. You certainly don’t have to be a Shakespeare fan to enjoy the town. It is full of beautifully preserved medieval and Tudor buildings, and you did mention an interest in history. The only way you will replicate the Highlands is to return to Scotland.
historytraveler is online now  
Old Feb 8th, 2020, 08:18 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 2,585
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Yes, Cornwall is not the best county to visit by car. A tour might be the best bet.
MissPrism is offline  
Old Feb 8th, 2020, 11:35 AM
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 99
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Miss Prism - hahaha that's fine by me! Sorry to disappoint but I only wrote it because I feel bad asking questions on here without giving anything back in return, my intention wasn't to entertain people - just to give some tips on what my experience was and I don't have a love of writing. Maybe it sounds like Eeyore because I didn't like Edinburgh as much? oh well. thanks for the Bath/Oxford/Cotswald tip.

Historytraveler - I think the reason I had it stuck in my head that Wales would be similar to Highlands is because someone else on the tour said she had just been on a Rabbies tour of Wales the week before the Highlands trip and found it to be even prettier. That's okay with me that Wales will be different... I've been looking at Snowdonia pictures and it looks gorgeous. Was it the Devon/Cornwall 5 day tour? I suppose we could do the Snowdonia, North Wales & Chester - 3 day tour plus the 5 Devon/Cornwall 5 day instead of the 5 day Discover Wales tour plus a 3 day tour to somewhere else.
kbmtravel is offline  
Old Feb 8th, 2020, 05:31 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 4,761
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
We are thinking of the Snowdonia one but from another city. I just think that would be the most beautiful. Three days might be enough. I am afraid I would hate the tour guide. Some are so dam chatty. I might do a one day tour with them in June from London just to feel it out. I asked on the other thread if you went with Rabbie's hotels or picked your own hotels. I don't like B&Bs and maybe the hotel they pick are ok but my friends went with their own. I hate double beds and would go with a twin room just to have a bit more room. I just paid a lot extra for a studio that didn't have the bed against the wall in London. Not telling husband how much but I would be the one crawling in and out of that bed and hitting my knee against the wall all night. I enjoyed your report as I am thinking about the three day tour and know my girl friends really enjoyed it but got tired of the long drives and not enough stops.
Macross is offline  
Old Feb 8th, 2020, 06:48 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 4,294
Received 42 Likes on 2 Posts
I believe I did the 5 day heart of England tour. I'm a Rabbies repeat customer as I found them in Edinburgh. London isn't my favorite vacation spot but returned to take this trip with them. I really liked it and would have preferred more time in Wales. We just got a day there but I'm glad I went. In Chester our hotel felt far out but it was fine. We got to see a lot and why I like their tours.
sassy27 is online now  
Old Feb 8th, 2020, 09:49 PM
  #8  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 99
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Macross, I mainly want to go to Snowdonia as well. We picked our own hotels. The hard bed was the one chose in Edinburgh - that was a last minute decision that I booked the week before our trip (so not many options left) after I cancelled a nicer apartment - I forget why I did that, maybe location. I'm just thinking we probably save a bunch of money booking ourselves. It seemed like everyone on the tour liked their hotels except one person... Rabbies booked a ridiculous location 20 minutes outside of town for them!


sassy27, I was looking at that one, too, but I think I'd like to have more time in Wales as well. I'm trying to decide between the 3 day Wales tour or 5 day tour. What do you think? I emailed Rabbies to see if one had more time in Snowdonia vs the other

kbmtravel is offline  
Old Feb 9th, 2020, 04:43 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 4,761
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Sassy and KBM travel, thank you for that info. We like to walk to pubs and dinner and most tour groups will put you in the boonies. I will pick my own hotel then.
Macross is offline  
Old Feb 9th, 2020, 05:35 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 6,107
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Just to note.I have done at least a half dozen tours with Rabbies and have NEVER been accommodated in the boonies. In fact, Rabbies tries hard to place their people in the center of things. I think this worry is much to do about nothing. I have made my own bookings twice. Once in Shrewsbury as there was a particular place I wanted to stay and on a second stop in Ullapool. Rabbies had booked me into The Arch Inn on my first tour. I liked it so much, that on another tour that had an overnight in Ullapool, I wanted to make sure I stayed there , so booked it myself.

I always select their best or most expensive option which is usually the 3* hotel avoiding hostels, B&B’s. I have never been disappointed in the accommodation they select. For that matter, when booking in places such as Edinburgh and London, I frequently stay at the Balmoral in Edinburgh and Ruebens at the Palace in London.
historytraveler is online now  
Old Feb 9th, 2020, 06:05 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 4,761
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Thanks Historytraveler.
Macross is offline  
Old Feb 9th, 2020, 08:33 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 4,294
Received 42 Likes on 2 Posts
I think the Rabbies hotel picks are hit and miss with the location. In Orkney, we were far out a 20 min walk to town. It was too far of a walk for my travel companion so dinner was at the hotel. In Chester we had to walk again 15 min to get dinner and lastly when they put us up in Ft. William. I don't mind walking but others might as my travel companion did. We also were not teamed up with others.

Don't get me wrong they weren't terrible places as on Skye we were right in the center. I've done package trips and yes the hotels were near nothing. Rabbies has been better but sometimes could still do better on some hotel locations. I too always select hotel except the 4 day Highland with Skye were all B&Bs which were nice.

I am not sure if you can get an over night in Wales but do that if you can. We didn't stay there and why we only got one day to explore. You can't always see everything so I'm glad I got to go and maybe one day go back on my own if this makes sense. None of the Rabbies tours I've taken have been bad just somethings about them I'd do a little differently.
sassy27 is online now  
Old Feb 9th, 2020, 11:59 AM
  #13  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 99
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I wonder if choosing the higher priced hotel options with Rabbies means a better location. Either way, I like to book our own.

Thanks Sassy27, I'm deciding between the 3 and 5 day Wales tours.
Option 1: If we did the 5 day Wales, we would do the 3 day Yorkshire, Dales, Peak District tour with it:
tps://www.rabbies.com/en/england-tours/from-london/5-8-day-tours/discover-wales-5-day-tour
https://www.rabbies.com/en/england-t...ict-3-day-tour

Option 2: If we did the 3 day Wales tour, we would do the 5 day Devon/Cornwall tour.
https://www.rabbies.com/en/england-t...nds-5-day-tour
https://www.rabbies.com/en/england-t...ter-3-day-tour

Love the sound of the Devon/Cornwall tour but I was thinking the 5 days in Wales might be nice! I think it might also depend whether we get more time in Snowdonia with the 5 day tour in Wales. I emailed Rabbies but haven't heard back yet.

Anyone have any suggestions on option 1 or option 2?
kbmtravel is offline  
Old Feb 9th, 2020, 12:02 PM
  #14  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 99
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
historytraveler, I just saw that you have a trip report on your Devon/Cornwall tour. I'll have to read that today!
kbmtravel is offline  
Old Feb 9th, 2020, 12:19 PM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 6,107
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The higher price option makes no difference in regard to location.
historytraveler is online now  
Old Feb 9th, 2020, 01:08 PM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 18,271
Received 77 Likes on 7 Posts
Originally Posted by kbmtravel View Post
We just decided to plan a spontaneous trip in early April for another Rabbies tour (or two) and would love suggestions on where to go for 7-10 days in England and Wales since I haven't done any research yet on England and only a bit on Wales so far.
(Emphasis mine.)

Early April is the hard part, and based on your Scottish TR, I find myself wondering how stoked you would have been in Scotland with sideways rain or mountains obscured by fog. Because the odds of good weather are against you in April, particularly in places like Snowdonia or mountainous/hilly areas in general.

Which of course is not to say you should avoid those areas, but, speaking personally, I'd probably pick a region where there are plenty of indoors things to do, or where population density is a little higher, so that if you happen to run into poor conditions you've got some alternatives to sitting in a minibus, Rabbies or no.

I'd be inclined to look at the south of England rather than the north or Wales. Areas like the Oxfordshire and the Cotswolds, Cambridge and East Anglia, maybe Devon, would be my focus, then cross your fingers that it's an early spring. For example, from a base in Cambridge you could explore that gorgeous city, then take easy day trips by train to cathedral cities like Ely or Lincoln.

Or if you want dramatic scenery as well as Rabbie's, head back to Edinburgh but this time do a tour south into Northumberland, visiting the dramatic castle country along the Northumbrian coast, as well as places like the Holy Island. Being on the east side of the country, the chances are slightly better that you'll have drier weather than on the Atlantic side, and in terms of bang for the buck, there are few areas in England that pack the historic and scenic punch equal to this area.

Maybe do some research in these areas. You could do three-day tours from both the Cambridge and Edinburgh/Northumberland bases and really cover your bets.

Some photos (not mine)

Ely, Cambridgeshire





Lincoln



Bamburgh, Northumberland







Gardyloo is online now  
Old Feb 9th, 2020, 03:08 PM
  #17  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 99
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Gardyloo, that's a very good point! When I googled "best time to visit Wales" April and May came up so I thought I was in the clear, but I didn't think about how the weather would naturally be different in Snowdonia which makes sense. But I think I'm too far gone at this point and I'm excited to go there so I guess I will have to hope for the best.
kbmtravel is offline  
Old Feb 19th, 2020, 07:41 PM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 65
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We visited Wales 2 years ago and I used a B&B as our base to explore Wales. The B&B is called Bryniau Golau and it is in Bala, Geynedd. Google maps:
.

We stayed 2 nights/days.
Miki2621 is offline  
Old Feb 20th, 2020, 09:39 AM
  #19  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 99
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks Miki and Athen. We booked the 5 day Wales tour (staying overnight in Aberystwyth and Tenby) and the 5 day Devon/Cornwall tour (staying in Exeter and Falmouth). We also have 4 nights/3 days in London, though one we'll be jetlagged and another our flight home is at 8:20 so thinking we'll have to leave London around 6/6:30? Haven't looked into how long to leave for transportation times, time at airport, etc.

London - Arrive 7am London at LHR, spend day in London, night at Premier Inn Victoria
First day of Wales tour
Wales tour
Wales tour
Wales tour
Wales - ends 7 pm, night in London Premier Inn Victoria
London
Devon/Cornwall tour
Devon/Cornwall tour
Devon/Cornwall tour
Devon/Cornwall tour
Devon/Cornwall tour - ends 7 pm, night in London Premier Inn Victoria
Last day in London - flight home at 8:20
kbmtravel is offline  
Old Feb 20th, 2020, 10:10 AM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 54,113
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
So glad you booked the Cornwall tour, kbmtravel as April is a wonderful time to be here - there are still lots of spring flowers in bloom and there is often good weather in which to enjoy them. For some reason the link won't open for me but if there are any specific questions you'd like to ask, place feel free.
annhig is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 08:09 PM.