Rick Steves' England
- Purchase the 2013 edition of Rick Steves' England guidebook.
- Also see the guidebook updates for all of Great Britain.
Updates since the 2013 edition
See the update page for our London guidebook.
Canon Grange B&B has closed.
At the York Minster, several examples of the Great East Window's stained glass (currently behind scaffolding) can be viewed up close in the new Orb, an elliptical treasure house located inside the Minster.
Updates to the 2012 edition
The Great British Heritage Pass is no longer being sold (or accepted at sights).
The Visit Britain tourist office in New York no longer sends out free maps and materials, and they have discontinued their toll-free phone number. To purchase maps and guides, go to www.visitbritainshop.com/usa.
British Midlands (bmi) is merging with British Airways, and the bmi brand will be retired by the end of October 2012. In most cases, bmi flight numbers have been changed to BA flight numbers.
See the update page for our London guidebook.
The tourist information office has temporarily moved from in front of the cathedral to the Canterbury Heritage Museum on Stour Street (off High Street, near King's Bridge), and closes a half-hour earlier (now Mon–Sat 9:00–17:00, Sun 10:00–17:00, tel. 01227/378-100). In September of 2012 the TI moves again, this time to its new permanent home, located in the atrium of the Beaney Art Museum and Library on High Street.
Guided walks with Canterbury Tourist Guides now depart from The Old Buttermaker pub, in front of the cathedral entrance (£6.50, daily at 11:00, April–Sept also at 14:00).
The Roman Museum has new hours: daily 10:00-17:00 (except closed Sun off-season).
The Tudor House B&B now has free Wi-Fi.
Visitors can now take a spin on the new Brighton Wheel, a seaside Ferris wheel. Similar to its big brother in London, the London Eye, it has 36 closed gondolas that take you on a 12-minute, three-revolution ride, up to 160 feet above the seafront (£8, daily 10:00–23:00, located east of the Brighton Pier and pretty hard to miss, tel. 01273/722-822).
The tourist information office is now located inside the D-Day Museum in Southsea, about two miles east of the Portsmouth Harbour train station. They give out a free map and sell discounted tickets for about 10 percent off admission to the Historic Dockyard and the Spinnaker Tower, and a few other less-compelling sights. On most Sundays, the TI offers guided walks, usually at 14:30 for £3 — ask for details. Unless you're going to the D-Day Museum, it's probably not worth a special trip (daily April–Sept 10:00–17:30, Oct–March 10:00–17:00, tel. 023/9282-6722, firstname.lastname@example.org).
The new Welcome to West Cornwall Centre is located between the train and bus stations in Penzance (Easter–Oct daily 10:00–16:00, Nov–Easter open fewer days per week, call for specifics, Station Approach, tel. 01736/335-530).
The tourist information office has a new website: www.stivestic.co.uk.
The Saltwater restaurant has closed.
The tourist information office no longer sells theater tickets.
Bath's festival box office is now housed inside the TI, in the abbey churchyard.
You can now buy tickets in advance online for the Roman and Medieval Bath. Lines are worst on Saturdays and every day in the summer. With your voucher in hand, you can enter through the "fast track" lane, to the left of the general admission line.
The Georgian House at No. 1 Royal Crescent is closed for renovation through late summer of 2013.
14 Raby Place B&B is in the process of being sold and may close or have new owners.
Ocean Pearl Oriental Buffet has closed. Instead try family-run Hoi Faan, serving up large portions of traditional Hong Kong-style Chinese food (daily noon–23:00 at 41–42 St. James Parade, tel. 01225/318-212).
The tourist information office has slightly shorter hours: Mon–Sat 10:00–15:15, closed Sun.
For bike rental in Glastonbury, try Glastonbury Cycles, at the top of High Street (£10/day, includes lock and puncture-repair kit, helmets-£2; Mon–Sat 9:00–17:00, closed Sun; deposit required — either cash, credit card, or passport; must return bikes in Glastonbury, 67 High Street, tel. 01458/830-639).
The Bishop's Palace is now open year-round.
The town's tourist information office has closed (budget cuts).
Visitors can now explore Avebury Manor and Garden. The house was the subject of The Manor Reborn, a four-hour BBC documentary on the refurbishment of the 500-year-old estate by a team of historians and craftspeople. Nine rooms decorated in five different styles show the progression of design trends, including a Tudor wedding chapel, a Queen Anne-era bedroom, and an early 20th-century billiards room. A limited number of timed tickets are sold each day.
Haunch of Venison restaurant has closed.
The Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology's broad collection now includes recently renovated Egyptian galleries, which feature various mummies, including a priest, a two-year-old boy, a cat, and even a baby crocodile, along with an interactive display explaining the process of mummification.
Value Self Drive is now run by Steve Bradley (email@example.com).
The Dragon House B&B has closed. Instead try Stonecraft B&B, next to the recommended Cornerways B&B, with three well-maintained rooms (Sb-£60, Db-£73, Tb-£110, Qb-£146, no kids under 10, free Wi-Fi, George Lane, tel. 01386/840-486, firstname.lastname@example.org, Roger and Lesley Yates).
Snowshill Lavender is now going by the name Cotswold Lavender, and has new hours and a new website: generally open June–Oct daily 10:00–17:00; April–May Wed–Sun 10:00–17:00, closed Mon–Tue; closed Nov–March.
Hidcote Manor Garden has new hours: May–Aug daily 10:00–18:00; mid-March–April and Sept Sat–Wed 10:00–18:00, closed Thu–Fri; Oct Sat–Wed 10:00–17:00, closed Thu–Fri; Nov–Dec Sat–Sun 11:00–16:00, closed Mon–Fri; closed Jan–mid-March.
The tourist information office no longer rents an audioguide.
The Kymalton House B&B closes in August 2012.
Jane the delightful laundry lady is no longer at Sparklean, but is now at Silly Suds Laundry on Greenhill Street, near the train station.
The tourist information office no longer stays open later in summer (now Mon–Sat 9:00–17:00, Sun 10:00–16:00 year-round).
Bob Totter Cycles is now "Giant York" (Mon–Sat 9:00–18:00, closed Sun).
Hertz car rental has a new phone number: 01904/500-193.
York Pullman Bus Tours will likely cease in 2012.
A new attraction called Chocolate: York's Sweet Story explores its chocolate-making heritage. Visits start with a film and guided tour, after which visitors are free to explore a virtual chocolate factory, and sample some (un-virtual) wares.
North Lake District
Keswick Motor Company no longer rents cars to Americans (for insurance reasons).
Bus notes: The #X4 and #X5 buses now keep the same name for the whole route, including between Penrith and Keswick (it's no longer the "X50"). The Kirkstone Rambler, between Windermere and Glenridding, is now the #508 (not the #517). And the #556 is no more, but the #555 still runs between Keswick and the South Lake District.
In busy times, a new, privately operated bus service now provides a direct bus route between Keswick and Glenridding, as well as Keswick to Pooley Bridge (4/day for each route, daily June–early Sept, weekends only mid-April–May and early Sept–Oct).
The town's most central launderette is moving (most likely to 27 Bank Street).
The 2012-2013 price of a double room (with bath) at Badgers Wood Guest House is £72. The B&B now offers free parking for guests (one spot per room).
Mayson's Restaurant has closed.
Durham no longer has a tourist information office you can visit in person, but the town maintains a call center and website (Mon–Sat 9:30–5:30, Sun 11:00–16:00, tel. 03000-262-626, email@example.com). Though not an official TI, the Durham World Heritage Site Visitor Centre, near the Palace Green, can offer some guidance, including background on Durham, brochures on things to see, information on castle tours, and a 12-minute video on the town (daily April–Oct 9:30–17:00, July–Aug until 18:00, Nov–March 10:00–16:30, 7 Owengate, tel. 0191/334-3805).
Renovation work on the Durham Cathedral undercroft (which should be finished in late 2012) means the Treasures of St. Cuthbert collection and an AV show are currently not viewable.