Guidebook Updates for Rick Steves Great Britain

When we learn of important changes to the information in our Great Britain guidebook, we post them here. (Of course, it’s still smart to reconfirm critical transportation and sightseeing details locally.) Armed with a Rick Steves guidebook and these late-breaking updates, you’re set for a great trip!

Bath & Nearby

  • Mad Max Tours, which operates tours to Stonehenge, Avebury, and several Cotswolds villages, has reconfigured its tour lineup (see their site for the latest information).

For books printed before September 2014, the following may also apply:

  • Tickets to the Roman and Medieval Baths aren’t currently being sold through the baths’ website, but combo-tickets that cover both the baths and the Fashion Museum are available online from the Visit Bath Shop.

  • Celtic Horizons has a new owner (Neil Bateman) and new contact info:btel. 01373/530-555, mobile 01373/305-040, info@celtichorizons.com. They now accept credit cards as well as cash.

For books printed before January 2014, the following may also apply:

  • Brocks Guest House has new managers (and owners), and new rates (Db-£99, Db with fireplace-£109, larger Db-£119, Db suite-£129, Karen and Rachel).

For books printed before August 2013, the following may also apply:

Wells

  • Canon Grange B&B has closed.

Avebury

  • Mrs. Dixon’s B&B has closed.

Cambridge

For books printed before August 2013, the following may also apply:

  • Debbie and Micheal Beckett no longer rent a room in their home.

Cotswolds

  • Chure House B&B in Stow has closed.

Edinburgh

For books published before September 2014, the following may also apply:

  • The city’s trams, which run from the airport to city center, are now up and running.

For books published before January 2014, the following may also apply:

  • The National Museum of Scotland’s tour schedule has changed a bit; it now offers a “taster tour” of its new galleries at 11:00 and a “highlights” tour of its Scotland galleries at 15:00, as well as themed tours, which now start at 13:00.
  • Wedgwood Restaurant is open daily 12:00–15:00 & 18:00–22:00.
  • Creelers Restaurant and Wild Elephant (a Thai restaurant) have both closed.

Durham

For books printed before January 2014, the following may apply:

  • The Hide Café and Melanzana Restaurant have closed.

Glencoe

For books published before January 2014, the following may also apply:

  • Heatherlea B&B has closed its doors.

Inverness

For books published before January 2014, the following may also apply:

  • Happy Tours’ historical walking tours and “Crime and Punishment” tours are no longer free; both now cost £6/person.
  • It’s become particularly difficult to visit Cawdor Castle without a car, as the public bus no longer runs to nearby Cawdor Church.

Ironbridge Gorge

For books printed before September 2014, the following may apply:

Lake District

For books printed before January 2014, the following may apply:

London

  • London has phased out cash bus tickets; riders can use Travelcards or Oyster cards.
  • Transit-ticket changes taking effect on January 2, 2015:
    • One-day bus passes are again available (£5, buy before boarding bus).
    • The One-Day Travelcard for central London (zones 1–2) has been discontinued; the cheapest one-day option is now the Anytime One-Day Travelcard (£12, zones 1–4).
    • Oyster Card deposits are no longer fully refundable: Of the £5 it costs to get your physical card, only £2 will be refunded.
  • At the Tower of London, tips are no longer expected or encouraged at the end of a Beefeater tour.
  • Advance tickets for tours of the Houses of Parliament are available from www.parliament.uk (rather than Ticketmaster).
  • Expect long lines at the Sherlock Holmes Museum (up to two hours in peak season). If you’re traveling with a companion, minimize your time in line by stationing one person in the ticket-buying line while the other stands in the ticket-holders line. (The museum itself has not been updated to include any mention of the TV series, though the gift shop has a few TV-related souvenirs.)
  • Trooping the Colour is happening June 13, 2015.
  • Morgan House B&B has closed.

For books printed before August 2014, the following may also apply:

  • The Covent Garden Tube stop is exit-only through summer of 2015. Instead, board at one of the other stations nearby: Leicester Square, Charing Cross, Embankment, or Holborn.

Sights

  • The public galleries of both Houses of Parliament are open for visitors only when Parliament is in session — generally October to July, Monday through Thursday (the two chambers keep different hours on those days). During the Aug–Sept recess and on Saturdays year-round, the only way to visit is on a guided tour.
  • The Cutty Sark is now open daily, including Mondays.
  • Tours of the Rose Theatre are no longer offered through Shakespeare’s Globe, and its Saturday hours are now restricted to 10:00–17:00.
  • The National Army Museum in Chelsea is closed for renovation until summer of 2016.
  • Evan Evans’ guided bus tours to Bath via Salisbury and Stonehenge may vary the order of its stops en route (depending on the day of the week).

Sleeping

Eating

  • Mooli’s restaurant, in Soho, has closed.
  • The Union Jacks restaurant on St. Giles Street is closed, but the one in Covent Garden Market is still open.
  • The Wagamama on Norris Street, near Piccadilly, has closed.
  • The Stockpot restaurant on Patton Street, near Piccadilly, has closed.
  • Jenny Lo’s Tea House, west of Victoria Station, has closed.

For books printed before February 2014, the following may also apply:

  • St. James’s Palace is a half-mile northeast (not northwest) of Buckingham Palace.

For books printed before August 2013, the following may also apply:

  • London Transport prices have gone up (again).
  • The City of London tourist information office is near the Millennium Bridge (not the Jubilee Bridge).
  • The Essential London Walk is no longer offered.
  • The Cartoon Museum is no longer closed on Monday (now open Mon–Sat 10:30–17:30, Sun 12:00–17:30).
  • Cartref House B&B, on Ebury Street, has closed.
  • Aster House has a new email address: asterhouse@gmail.com.
  • Barn Cottage, a B&B near Gatwick Airport, has closed its doors.
  • In Greenwich, admission to the Cutty Sark is no longer by timed ticket; advance booking is still a good idea, but not crucial.

North Yorkshire

For books printed before January 2014, the following may apply:

  • The Moorsbus, which had operated in the North York Moors vicinity, is no longer running.

Stonehenge

For books printed before September 2014, the following may apply:

  • The new visitors center is now open at Stonehenge (open daily June–Aug 9:00–20:00, mid-March–May and Sept–mid-Oct 9:30–19:00, and mid-Oct–March 9:30–17:00; last entry two hours before closing). Tickets are sold based on timed entry, and advance reservations are officially required — and the only way to guarantee entry (only a limited number of walk-in tickets are available each day). Buying a ticket at least 24 hours in advance is strongly recommended.

Stratford

For books printed before January 2014, the following may apply:

  • The Old Barn, a shop that offered bag storage, has closed, which means there’s currently no place (to our knowledge) to stash bags in Stratford.

Warwick

  • Agincourt Lodge has closed.

Windsor

  • Eton College is closed to the public during a building project until late 2015.

York

For books printed before January 2014, the following may apply:

  • The long-running Haunted Walk evening ghost tour is no longer offered.
  • 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.