Great Britain 2013 Guidebook
Best and worst sights, experiences and destinations:
Best: Roman Baths
Why: The guide we had was amazing! I don't know if we just got lucky, but we toured for 45 mins. with him, then had a little bonus of one-on-one with him later. He also told us that a new part has been discovered. They think it's the gymnasium. It is scheduled to open in 2014. May have to go back.
Worst: Driving into Bath
Why: We were lost as soon as we crossed the Avon River, had stopped at Stonehenge on our way from London by car. My son was driving. He parked the car, enquired about where to find a GPS, and was off. With a cheap GPS installed, we were set for the rest of our time in England.
Pam Clark in Surrey, BC Canada 05/10/2013
Best: Web Test
Why: Web Test
Worst: Web Test
Why: Web Test
Webmaster in Edmonds, WA USA 04/12/2013
Best: Free walking tours in York and the Railway Museum
Why: Okay, the York Minster is stunning. But the quality, insights, and friendliness of our guide sponsored by the city of York should give lessons to the rest of the world's guides.
The Railway Museum was also a great stop. We soent longer there than we initially thought we would.
Jan Owens in Racine, WI, WI USA 12/29/2012
Why: Pithlochry probably has the best TI in Scotland. Alan provides fantastic tips and an excellent description of activities in the area. We stayed at the beautiful Buttonboss Lodge, right across from the TI. And we enjoyed our best pub experience in Scotland at the Moulin Inn & Brewery, about a mile north of Pithlochry. The informal pub (separate from the dining room) has a crackling fire and resident canine host. It's a good stop after doing the Edradour distillery tour. Their food is excellent. Try their locally brewed Braveheart ale. You won't want to leave.
Bill and Rosemary in Springfield, VA USA 10/24/2012
Best: Hiring Mari Roberts to drive me around North Wales for 2 days.
Why: I wanted to see as many sights as possible in the 2 days I had there. Mari Roberts is knowledgeable, fun, has a great dog named Bertie and was willing to drive me anywhere I wanted to go. I was traveling alone so having knowledgeable travel companion with a great sense of humor made everything better. I want to go back to North Wales and I will certainly ask for her again.
Worst: No worst experiences
Why: North Wales is a wonderful, beautiful place with lots of interesting things to do and see.
Kam in Plano, TX USA 08/15/2012
Why: The advice in the book was to spend more time in the northern part of the Lakes District, especially Keswick, and to visit in the Windermere area only if we wished to see literary sites related to Wordsworth & Beatrix Potter. My friends & I are teachers, and we certainly did want to see Dove Cottage & Hill Top Farm, but we were happy to have taken your advice and booked lodging in Keswick. We had an idyllic evening picnic at Castlerigg, and a perfect day hiking up Catbells, taking the anti-clockwise boat and then reading Wordsworth aloud (from a smartphone!) at Lodore falls. We would not have had such a wonderful experience without your book.
Worst: Betty's Tearoom in York -- but I admit we never went in.
Why: We'd have had a 45-minute wait on a line that went around the block, but we checked the menu first, to learn the prices -- for example, afternoon tea for 18 pounds. That made it easy. We went to Bullivant nearby and had a wonderful afternoon tea with delicious sandwiches and scones with jam & cream for about 10 pounds apiece.
Jane Murphy in Cranston, RI USA 08/05/2012
Best: Really enjoyed the Churchill War Rooms
Why: Excellent audioguide as mentioned in the book. The curators have done a fantastic job of giving the visitor the feeling of stepping back in time 60 years. I found the Churchill Museum itself to be very dense; I had a hard time finding the audioguide stopping points in that part. My recommendation to others would be to go quickly through the museum on the first go-round, make sure you have time to see all the war rooms, then return to the museum part later for as long as you wish.
Wally Rehm in Yellow Springs, OH USA 07/11/2012
Best: Isle of Skye.
Why: The scenery is amazing and the drive is awesome!
Worst: Loch Ness
Why: Was disappointing. It seemed like a tourist trap.
Rebecca Fennell in Hilliard, OH USA 06/16/2012
Why: After visiting the busy city of London and being chased by the Olympic torch crowds, it was fantastic to get out into the wide, open, beautiful spaces of the Cotswolds, and we saw very few other hikers.
Worst: Changing of the Guard, London
Why: Because of the Queen's Jubilee and the Olympics, this area is under heavy construction and surveillance; thus, if you're taking pictures, you'll find them filled with orange cones and hardhats. Too crowded to be much fun. You feel claustrophobic after a while. It's more delightful to catch the guard change at the Tower of London.
Amery in La Crosse, WI USA 06/11/2012
Best: Too hard to choose.
Why: We enjoyed so much of what was included in the book.
Worst: Beatles Magical Mystery Tour in Liverpool
Why: Over priced, jam packed, creaky bus tour. Better way to go might be a taxi tour. We were dropped off at the Cavern, several blocks from where the bus tour began. Not the best tour guide either. We wanted Beatles music on board when traveling from stop to stop, but very little was played.
Thea Welsh in Stillwater, MN USA 05/22/2012
Best: Stirling Castle
Why: Wonderful castle to investigate. There are tour guides in period costumes to give an oversight of life back in the middle ages. It was fascinating. Also had a good cafe on site. We spent four hours and could have easily stayed much longer.
Deborah Lewis in Tualatin, OR USA 05/11/2012
Best: Hiking through the Cotswolds
Why: Simply a delightful way to enjoy this beautiful region.
Worst: Fashion Museum in Bath
Why: Both my wife and I were disappointed. Not sure it even deserves a mention.
Stuart Wright in Orem, Ut USA 04/14/2012
Best: Tower of London
Why: Kids did not want the Yeoman tour, so I read parts of the book to them as we were touring the grounds. Kids loved funny comments, especially when it came to King Henry VIII's bigger is better suit of armour.
Brenda in Salt Lake City, Ut USA 03/31/2012
Best: Conwy River Walk, The Tower of London
Why: The river walk gave us a great orientation to the town.
The Tower was just impressive!
Worst: Westminster Abbey
Why: We were really just disappointed by it... how crowded it was, the cost, how commercial it felt. We wish we would have given ourselves more time to spend at Saint Paul's Cathedral.
Kelly Hainer in Cleveland, OH USA 02/18/2012
Best: Wells Cathedral
Why: A hidden gem, you need a car to get there and it is well worth it. A wonderful small town with lots of period architecture.
Don Waddell in Walnut Creek, CA USA 10/28/2011
Best: Isle of Skye
Why: absolutely gorgeous scenery, friendly hosts, well worth the extra driving to get there
Gretchen in Winston-Salem, NC USA 07/28/2011
Why: such an easy city to navigate and to enjoy...very rich history
Kim Anderson in North Vancouver, BC Canada 07/11/2011
Worst: Hadrian's Wall
Why: Like Stonehenge, sorta underwhelming. Don't look for the Great Wall of China. The detour by auto to Housesteads not worth the effort. There is a good stretch of the wall right off the main road near Carlisle where there is no one there except you, the wall and friendly grazing cattle.
Kyle Dameron in Tulsa, Ok USA 07/03/2011
Best: Churchill War Museum
Why: Very interesting, loved this quiet, out-of-the-way museum. Lots of interesting items
Nancy Robinson in Nampa, ID USA 06/16/2011
Best: National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh
Why: Extensive, thoughtfully displayed exhibits that span thousands of years. Very impressive collection. I pooped out before the exhibits did, but would love to return. And, it's free!
Maureen Oberlin in Tallahassee, FL USA 06/05/2011
Best: Trotternish Peninsula, Skye
Why: The hike at Quirang -- up (south) from the parking lot; all the directions and recommendations hit the mark
Mark Gibson in Fairfax, VA USA 05/25/2011
Best: Badgers Wood Guest House, Keswick
Why: Comfortable clean rooms, great location with easy access to buses, boats and trains, fantastically friendly and extremely helpful proprietors and beautiful surroundings in the Lakes District.
Sue in Seattle, WA USA 05/07/2011
Best: walking in the Lake district, visiting the castles, Culloden and the churchill museum , walking tours of London
Why: the scenic beauty of the lake country and the pleasure of walking with all the english families. the marvels of the castles brought to life by the wonderful guides, the historic importance of the war rooms and churchill, and the excellent presentation
Why: we loved it all, and were delighted with all the discoveries you led us to.
carol thibault in vancouver, bc canada 04/29/2011
Best: Evensong at the York Minster
Why: Hearing the choir and organ in such a phenomenally large and beautiful structure moved us to tears.
Worst: Hill Top Farm (Beatrix Potter's home)
Why: As mentioned in the guide book, there is no information there. It was so dark inside, it was impossible to decipher photos or anything in print.
Diane & Rick Steiner in CLifton Park, NY USA 04/26/2011