Are you planning some country getaways around London to explore a bit of the gorgeous English countryside? You certainly are in the right place. This is a rundown of our Lacock, Stonehenge, Bath, and Windsor Castle tour from London with Golden Tours.
So, how did we chance upon this particular day tour from London? Well, the first stop on our recent UK trip was the capital city (how non-touristy of us!). And although there are many different things to do in London, we definitely wanted to explore a bit of the countryside.
However, we had only 4 days in London. So, day tours were the need of the hour.
Golden Tours Lacock, Stonehenge, Bath, and Windsor Castle Tour from London
The real challenge, however, was to find a tour that covers Lacock, Stonehenge, Bath, and Windsor Castle on a day tour from London. All of these were high on our England bucket list and we didn’t want to miss any of them.
Luckily for us, Golden Tours happened to have just that. So, when they invited us to be a part of their Lacock, Stonehenge, Bath, and Windsor Castle tour from London – we hopped on happily for an amazing day out. Here’s what was in store for us.
1. Windsor Castle
Our first stop was Windsor Castle, about an hour’s drive away from London towards the west. The castle is the official residence of the British Queen and is also the largest and longest-inhabited castles in Europe.
While we were waiting in queue to enter the castle, Chris, our guide shared some interesting stories about the castle and the monarchy.
It turns out that you can actually tell if the Queen is in residence or not by looking at the flag atop the castle tower. If it’s the British Standard, that means she’s not. However, if it’s the Royal Standard, that means she is!
The castle was badly damaged by a fire in 1992 and the repair work cost a whopping 36.5 million pounds! Today, of course, you wouldn’t know it had ever been damaged if you saw it unless you know the story.
The castle is huge and you need at least a good three hours to properly explore the place. Some of the most notable highlights of Windsor Castle are – the State Apartments, St. George’s Chapel, and Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House.
Unfortunately, our day’s itinerary did not allow us that amount of time. However, it was enough to catch a quick glimpse of the royal history and architecture. We checked out St. George’s Chapel at leisure as well as some of the castle walls and grounds nearby.
PRO TIP: Make sure to check out this comprehensive guide to Windsor Castle to learn more about the castle.
2. Lacock National Trust Village
On the way to our next stop, our lunch packs were served on the bus. This is another great aspect of this tour that helps you save time and explore more. And save a few extra pounds too.
We reached the National Trust village of Lacock a couple of hours later. The village with its traditional Cotswold stone cottages, the old abbey, and the tithe barn, is one of England’s prettiest villages.
It still looks exactly as it used to in the medieval ages. You may find freshly-baked scones, cakes, or homemade jams and marmalade for sale outside these cottages – to be paid for using the honor system. (Yes, there still is such a thing!)
Lacock is owned and maintained entirely by the National Trust, and has been the filming location for many TV shows and movies including – Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Downton Abbey, and BBC’s Pride and Prejudice.
Chris, our guide, took us on a walking tour of this quintessential English village. He showed us various filming locations of Harry Potter and shared some interesting stories about the village too.
This tour does not, however, include a visit to the Lacock Abbey or the Fox Talbot Museum. If you book only a Cotswold tour, you may have more time on your hands to check these places too.
As for us, we had just about enough time to experience a little flavor of medieval England at this lovely village. It was literally like a journey back in time – a journey I’d be willing to make many times over.
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I’d heard rave reviews about Bath from people who’ve been there. And that’s exactly why I wanted to visit Bath – I wanted to see what the hype was all about.
We arrived at Bath, approximately half an hour later. The moment I stepped into the city, I regretted my decision of not planning on staying there longer.
Bath is one of the loveliest cities I’ve ever been to! If you’re a fan of history and architecture, this is the place for you. You’re sure to find something interesting around every corner – the beautiful Bath Abbey, the Roman Baths, the No.1 Royal Crescent, or the Pulteney Bridge.
There’s a whole bunch of things you can do in Bath and I definitely plan on going back for longer. However, in the limited time that we had, we tried the traditional Bath bun and afternoon tea on Chris’ recommendation. It was pretty awesome!
We also had some time on our hands to take a walk across the main town square – try some local ice-cream and enjoy the lively sights and sounds.
Another hour or so later, we arrived at the historic site of Stonehenge. Our tour bus brought us as far as the visitor center. Thereafter, another coach took us to the actual site.
Our guide stayed with us the entire time and shared many interesting stories about the origin of those stones. Some of these stories indicate that the area used to be a sacred ground while others say it was a burial site.
Regardless of what the real story is (no one knows for sure), a visit to Stonehenge is an experience that you’ll cherish forever. Not only are the stories about our Neolithic ancestors extremely intriguing but also quite humbling. And an added bonus is the gorgeous natural beauty of the area.
Soon, it was time for us to head back to London, and the journey back wasn’t too bad either. Watching the beautiful landscapes of the countryside rolling by, we arrived back in London at around 8 pm.
It was a lovely tour overall. Of course, I would’ve ideally liked to spend some more time at Windsor Castle and Bath. However, considering that we covered four different places, not too close by either, this seemed like a great utilization of the available time.
Things to Note:
- The bus leaves at 8 am sharp from the Golden Tours Visitor Center near the Victoria Coach station. So, plan on reaching early and double check which stop your bus would be departing from. We almost missed ours even though we’d reached pretty early but someone had directed us to the wrong stop somehow.
- Entry to the Windsor Castle and the Roman Baths are not included in the package. So, if you’re planning on entering any of these places, you’ll need to pay for them separately.
- Check for the scheduled closure dates of Windsor Castle if you’re planning on visiting it and book your tour accordingly.
- You’ll arrive in London at approximately 8 pm in the evening. You can choose one of two drop locations – Kensington or Victoria (near the Golden Tours Visitor Center in both places).
- Be back in time after you’re done exploring a particular place – the bus may leave without you if you don’t. Of course, this isn’t an outcome that your driver or guide would ideally wish for. However, arriving a few minutes later than requested, simply makes their lives more difficult. So, please respect everyone’s time.
- Truth be told, this tour might seem a little rushed and you may not have as much time to explore these places as you might ideally like to. However, I can guarantee that you won’t find any other tour that combines all four of these places on a day trip. You may find quite a few Stonehenge and Bath tours from London though. I’d say, this is a great value-for-money offer – ideal for you if you have limited time on your hands but still want to cover more places.
This is a sponsored blog post, however, all opinions expressed are entirely my own.
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