Guidebook Updates for England

When we learn of critical changes to the information in our guidebooks on England, 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!

Across Britain

For books printed before May 2016, the following may apply:

Bath

For books printed before May 2016, the following may apply:

  • 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).
  • Celtic Horizons has new phone numbers: from UK 01373/800-500, and US/Canada toll-free (855) 895-0165.
  • Bath's Jane Austenthemed walking tours have been discontinued.

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 now accepts 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).

Blackpool

For books printed before May 2016, the following may apply:

Brighton

For books printed before May 2016, the following may apply:

  • The tourist information office in the Royal Pavilion has closed, but staffers there can provide information by phone at +44 (0)1273/290-337.
  • The St. Christopher's Inn hostel is now Hostel Point Brighton, with a new website and email address: www.hostelpointuk.com, info@hostelpointuk.com.
  • Three recommended restaurants have closed: Townhouse Kemptown, Fat Leo, and Forfars Fresh.

Cambridge

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

Cotswolds

For books printed before May 2016, the following may apply:

  • Sheepscombe House B&B, near Chipping Campden, has closed.
  • Chure House B&B and Stow-on-the-Wold Youth Hostel, both in Stow, have closed.
  • Stow-on-the-Wold now has a modest tourist information office that's staffed by volunteers; it's on the main square, in St.Edwards Hall (closed Sun).
  • Blenheim Guest House, near Blenheim Palace, has closed.

Dartmoor

For books printed before May 2016, the following may apply:

  • Tom Sorby, who gives guided walks, has a new mobile number: +44 (0)7513-595-684.
  • Dartmoor National Park no longer provides guided walks, but a privately owned group called Moorland Guides offers them.

Durham & Hadrian's Wall

For books printed before May 2016, the following may apply:

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

  • The Hide Café and Melanzana Restaurant have closed.

Dover & nearby

  • The Amanda Guest House on Harold Street has closed.

For books printed before May 2016, the following may apply:

  • The shuttle between the Eastern Docks ferry terminal and the train station is no longer running; take bus #15 instead.
  • While the tourist information office in Rye has closed, the Rye Heritage Centre now provides tourist information.

Ironbridge Gorge

For books printed before May 2016, the following may apply:

  • The Ironbridge Open-Air Museum of Steel Sculpture has closed.
  • Da Vinci's restaurant is no more.
  • The Bicycle Hub rental shop is pining for the fjords (= also closed).

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

Lake District

For books printed before May 2016, the following may apply:

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

Liverpool

For books printed before May 2016, the following may apply:

  • The Side Door restaurant is now called "Jenever."

London

For books printed before May 2016, the following may apply:

  • The Medieval Banquet no longer offers a discount for Rick Steves readers, but it does still offer its family deal for two adults and two kids (now available Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday).

For books printed before January 2016, the following may also apply:

  • The Jurys Inn locations in Chelsea, Islington, and Heathrow Airport have been rebranded as Hilton Doubletree hotels.

For books printed before July 2015, the following may also apply:

  • Oyster Card deposits are no longer fully refundable.
  • At the Tower of London, tips are no longer expected or encouraged at the end of a Beefeater tour.
  • 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.)
  • Morgan House B&B has closed.
  • London Vicarage Hotel has closed.

For books printed before February 2015, the following may also apply:

  • London has phased out cash bus tickets; riders can use Travelcards or Oyster cards.
  • 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).
  • Advance tickets for tours of the Houses of Parliament are available from www.parliament.uk (rather than Ticketmaster).

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

  • 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.
  • 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).
  • The Gate Hotel, in Notting Hill, has closed.
  • Mooli’s restaurant, in Soho, has closed.
  • The Union Jacks restaurant on St. Giles Street is closed.
  • 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.

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.

Oxford & nearby

For books printed before May 2016, the following may apply:

  • The Blenheim Guest House near Blenheim Palace has closed.

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

Portsmouth

For books printed before May 2016, the following may apply:

  • The Mary Rose Museum at the Historic Dockyard is closed until summer 2016.
  • Cecil Cottage B&B has closed.

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

  • The Sallyport tearoom has closed.

Stonehenge

For books printed before August 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

For books printed before May 2016, the following may apply:

  • Agincourt Lodge has closed.

Windsor

For books printed before January 2016, the following may apply:

  • The Timber House restaurant has closed.

York

  • Abbeyfields Guest House has been sold, and is no longer a B&B.

For books printed before May 2016, the following may apply:

  • The expensive York Pass sold by the tourist information office no longer includes admission to the Yorkshire Museum or York Castle Museum.
  • The futuristic "Orb" exhibit at the York Minster has closed.
  • Ardmore Guest House has closed.
  • The Ace York boutique hostel is now called "Safestay York."
  • The Ambience Café is now called "Bistro Guy."
  • Melton’s Too restaurant is now the Walmgate Ale House.
  • Giant York, near Monk Bar, no longer rents bikes.

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

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