Road Scholar to England & Wales

By Michael McKay
This item appears on page 26 of the March 2015 issue.
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My wife and I traveled with Road Scholar (Boston, MA; 800/454-5768, www.roadscholar.org), June 10-23, 2014, on the first departure of their new tour “The Best of England & Wales: Shakespeare to Snowdonia, Castles to Colleges.”

It cost $4,996 each, including airfare from New York City. There were 24 in the group. We spent two nights in Windsor and three nights each in Stratford-upon-Avon, Wales and Keswick plus a night in Manchester.

Generally, the itinerary was well planned and packed with interesting sights and experiences. Instructors retained for Oxford/Stratford/Cotswolds, northern Wales and the Lake District were excellent. They “knew their stuff” and were charismatic. There was less free time than one would expect from reading the itinerary.

Group members particularly liked an Evensong service at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle; a backstage tour of and a play at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre; a day in Oxford; a visit to Conwy Castle in Wales; a private tour of Castle Cottage, Beatrix Potter’s home, and the Lake District houses of Brantwood and Blackwell.

Meals were most impressive, with full breakfast buffets and 3-course dinners with several options.

Hotels were the least impressive part of the tour. Three hotels did not have air-conditioning and, even with only 70-degree days, rooms were stifling, although requested fans helped.

The Keswick Country House Hotel, although centrally located on a main street, is situated adjacent to several bars and, as a result, was inflicted with loud, late-night street noise (until 3 a.m.). 

Overall, we would highly recommend this tour for travelers who want to see England without spending time in London, with the bonus of visiting northern Wales.

MICHAEL McKAY

Forest Hills, NY

Please login or subscribe to ITN to read the entire post.

My wife and I traveled with Road Scholar (Boston, MA; 800/454-5768, www.roadscholar.org), June 10-23, 2014, on the first departure of their new tour “The Best of England & Wales: Shakespeare to Snowdonia, Castles to Colleges.”

It cost $4,996 each, including airfare from New York City. There were 24 in the group. We spent two nights in Windsor and three nights each in Stratford-upon-Avon, Wales and Keswick plus a night in Manchester.

Generally, the itinerary was well planned and packed with interesting sights and experiences. Instructors retained for Oxford/Stratford/Cotswolds, northern Wales and the Lake District were excellent. They “knew their stuff” and were charismatic. There was less free time than one would expect from reading the itinerary.

Group members particularly liked an Evensong service at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle; a backstage tour of and a play at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre; a day in Oxford; a visit to Conwy Castle in Wales; a private tour of Castle Cottage, Beatrix Potter’s home, and the Lake District houses of Brantwood and Blackwell.

Meals were most impressive, with full breakfast buffets and 3-course dinners with several options.

Hotels were the least impressive part of the tour. Three hotels did not have air-conditioning and, even with only 70-degree days, rooms were stifling, although requested fans helped.

The Keswick Country House Hotel, although centrally located on a main street, is situated adjacent to several bars and, as a result, was inflicted with loud, late-night street noise (until 3 a.m.). 

Overall, we would highly recommend this tour for travelers who want to see England without spending time in London, with the bonus of visiting northern Wales.

MICHAEL McKAY

Forest Hills, NY