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 April 2018, the following may also apply:

  • The Brit Xplorer bus pass has been discontinued and replaced by the Skimmer pass, which is valid for 7, 14, or 28 days.

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

Bath & nearby

  • Bath's tourist information office has relocated to Bridgwater House at 2 Terrace Walk (around the corner from the former location), and has a new telephone number: +44 (0) 1225/614-420.
  • The Free City Walking Tours evening walks in Bath are now offered May–Aug on Tue and Thu at 18:00.
  • Parkside Guest House has closed.

For books printed before April 2018, the following may also apply:

  • Bea's Vintage Tea Rooms has closed.
  • Rajpoot Tandoori restaurant has closed.
  • Baytree House B&B in Wells has closed.

Blackpool

Brighton

For books printed before April 2018, the following may apply:

  • The Brighton Wheel is no longer operating and has been dismantled.

Canterbury

  • The White House has closed.
  • The Tudor House has closed.
  • St. John's Court Guest House has closed.
  • The Canterbury Heritage Museum has closed.
  • Beaney House of Art and Knowledge is now closed on Mondays.

For books printed before April 2018, the following may also apply:

  • Sunday service at St. Martin's Church now takes place at 9:00.
  • Deeson's British Restaurant has closed.
  • Morelli's Restaurant has closed.
  • The Canterbury Cycle Centre no longer rents bikes.

Cornwall

  • Tintagel Castle has a new footbridge across the chasm between the mainland and island. The sight now requires timed-entry tickets (£13) and recommends purchasing in advance for peak-time visits.
  • In Newlyn, Mackerel Sky Seafood Bar is now open daily year-round.
  • In the Penwith Peninsula, Minack Theatre is generally open daily 9:30–17:30, Oct 10:00–17:00, Nov–April 10:00–16:00.
  • In St. Ives, the Stennack Surgery lot is no longer a parking option for tourists.
  • In St. Ives, the tourist information office is now located in the library on Gabriel Street, and is now open on Sunday in high season (Mon–Sat 9:30–17:00, Sun 10:00–15:00, Oct–April shorter hours and closed Sun).
  • In St. Ives, the Tate Gallery and Barbara Hepworth Museum hours are: daily 10:00–17:20, Nov–Feb until 16:20 and closed Mon. The Tate Gallery renovation is complete, doubling its exhibit space, and the gallery now always has one exhibit space open during rehanging times (no more two-week closures three times a year).
  • In Penzance, Poolside Indulgence has closed.

For books printed before April 2018, the following may also apply:

  • Western Discoveries tour company is no longer in business.

Cotswolds

  • Cotswold Farm Park is now closed in February in addition to January.
  • Go Cotswolds tours now run Wed–Sun.
  • Snowshill Manor has new hours: daily 11:00–17:30, closed Nov–March.
  • In Bibury, the William Morris B&B has a new email address: 11tearoom@gmail.com.
  • In Moreton-in-Marsh, Tilly's Teahouse is now Charlotte's Pantry.
  • In Moreton-in-Marsh, Treetops B&B has closed.
  • In Northleach, the Mechanical Music Museum has closed.
  • In Stow-on-the-Wold, Speedwells Café has closed.
  • In Chipping Campden, Michael's restaurant is no longer open for lunch. Its new hours are Tue–Sun 18:45–22:00, closed Mon.
  • In Chipping Campden, the Chance B&B and the Bramley House have closed.
  • The Volunteer Inn in Chipping Campden no longer rents bikes.
  • Badgers Hall Tea Room in Chipping Campden is now open to non-guests Thu–Sat 10:00–16:00.
  • Cornerways B&B in Chipping Campden now welcomes families with kids 10 or older, but no longer rents a cottage across the street.

For books printed before April 2018, the following may also apply:

  • The Johnsons Coaches bus routes linking Moreton-in-Marsh to Stratford-upon-Avon via Chipping Campden (and other Cotswold towns) have changed route numbers to #1 and #2.
  • Value Self Drive car rental is no longer in business.
  • Iain Taxis is no longer in business.
  • Chipping Campden Private Hire is no longer in business.
  • La Tradition bakery in Chipping Campden has closed.

Dartmoor

  • While Yarrow Lodge no longer rents B&B rooms, the owner, Phil Page, still runs tours.
  • Whiddons Eatery has closed.
  • Travelers wishing to join a scheduled walk or schedule a private tour with recommended local guide Tom Soby should book at least two months in advance.

For books printed before April 2018, the following may also apply:

  • The Transmoor Link #82 bus is no longer in service.
  • Farleigh Cottage in Chagford is no longer in business.
  • Sandy Park Inn near Chagford no longer rents rooms or serves food, but is still open for drinks.
  • The Walled Garden B&B in Moretonhampstead has closed.
  • The White Horse Inn is now called "The Horse."

Durham & Hadrian's Wall

  • Bella Italia restaurant has been replaced by Riverview Kitchen, which serves a variety of burgers, sandwiches, pancakes, salads, and cakes (Mon–Fri 9:30–17:00, Sat–Sun 9:00–17:00, tel. +44 (0)191/384-5777).
  • The Café Rouge restaurant has closed, as has the Marks & Spencer supermarket in the city center.

For books printed before April 2018, the following may also apply:

  • Oldfields restaurant in Durham has closed.
  • Gibbs Hill Farm near Hadrian's Wall no longer runs a B&B but still rents hostel beds and self-catering cottages.
  • To get to Holy Island from Newcastle via public bus, take Arriva #X15 to Beal, and then Borders bus #477 to the island. By train from Newcastle, go to Berwick-upon-Tweed and catch bus #477 there.

Glastonbury & Wells

  • In Glastonbury, Gothic Image bookstore has closed.
  • In Glastonbury, the tourist information office has moved to St. Dunstan's House near the abbey, at 1 Magdalene Street. Its hours have also changed: Mon–Sat 10:00–17:00, Sunday until 16:00, with shorter hours Oct–March.
  • In Glastonbury, the Lake Village Museum is temporarily closed while its building at 9 High Street is being upgraded.
  • Glastonbury's Haydn House has closed.

Lake District

  • Dove Cottage, Wordsworth's home, is closed for restoration until April 2020.
  • The entire Railway Path from Keswick to Threlkeld is closed while restoration work continues. It's expected to reopen in late 2020; ask at the Keswick tourist information office for the latest.
  • Uzzicar Farm B&B, in the Newlands Valley, has closed.

For books printed before April 2018, the following may also apply:

Liverpool

  • The Liverpool tourist information office at the Albert Dock has closed. There are modest information desks at the Central Library near the train station and at the Magical Beatles Museum on Mathew Street in the city center.

For books printed before April 2018, the following may also apply:

  • The greater Liverpool area transit system is under renovation through at least 2019. Trains may use other stations in surrounding areas and connect travelers with the city center via bus service (check www.merseyrail.org for updates).
  • Best Western Feathers Hotel is now called Hallmark Inn Liverpool.

London

  • Bus route #RV1 has been canceled. Visit the Transport For London website for route planning: tfl.gov.uk.
  • Savini at the Criterion has closed.
  • The Royal Mews is closed to visitors December–January, in addition to Sundays in November.
  • The National Gallery's free one-hour overview tours are now offered just Mon–Fri at 14:00.

For books printed before October 2019, the following may also apply:

For books printed before December 2019, the following may also apply:

  • Fernandez & Wells restaurant in Soho has closed, as have Potato Project, Melt Room, and the Gay Hussar.

For books printed before September 2018, the following may also apply:

  • The Heathrow Connect train is no longer running.
  • The Courtauld Gallery is currently closed for renovations, with a reopening tentatively planned for fall 2020.
  • Sir John Soane's Museum is open Wednesday–Sunday (not Tuesday–Saturday).
  • Inigo Jones' masterpiece of Neoclassical architecture, the Queen's House in Greenwich, has reopened.

For books printed before August 2018, the following may also apply:

  • Advance tickets for the Tower of London purchased on the Tower's website are now valid only for the date selected. (Vouchers that previously gave travelers seven days after the date selected are no longer available on the website.)
  • The Queen's Diamond Jubilee Galleries, a new museum within Westminster Abbey that has been closed for the past 700 years, has opened. (You'll see rare objects from royal coronations, funerals, and much more from the Abbey's 1,000-year history.) Space is limited and a timed-entry ticket is required, available in 15-minute intervals; purchase on the Abbey's website. Westminster Abbey is open until 16:00 May–August (last entry one hour before closing). Tickets for the galleries cost an additional £5 on top the Abbey entrance fee. Visitors with a London Pass can make a same-day reservation at the Abbey if space is available for £5.

For books printed before June 2018, the following may also apply:

  • Afternoon tea at the V&A Café is now Sunday 15:00–17:00, and requires a reservation.

For books printed before April 2018, the following may also apply:

  • From August through April, the Changing of the Guard in front of Buckingham Palace takes place on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
  • The Churchill War Rooms now offers timed reservations, which are recommended because of increased crowds.
  • The Golden Hinde replica has reopened, and has new hours (daily 10:00–17:00), a new website, and a new phone number (+44 (0)20-7403-0123).
  • The National Portrait Gallery will no longer stay open late on Thursdays. The gallery will close at 18:00 on Thursdays, but will remain open late on Fridays until 21:00.
  • Eurostar now offers direct train service between London and Amsterdam (and Rotterdam). Trains run twice daily, taking 3 hours 41 minutes. (But those traveling from Amsterdam still need to change trains in Brussels, and go through passport control.)
  • The budget airline Monarch is no longer in business.
  • The budget airline Thomson Airways is now called TUI Airways.
  • The Orangery at Kensington Palace is now closed for restoration work until 2020.
  • Evan Evans tour company's US phone number has changed: 800-422-9022.
  • The family discount for the London Zoo is only available online, not at the entrance.

For books printed before December 2017, the following may also apply:

  • The Banqueting House is now closed to the public on Thursdays.
  • The Geffrye Museum is closed for a two-year refurbishment, with plans to reopen by 2020.
  • The National Army Museum has a new website: www.nam.ac.uk.
  • London Duck Tours has ceased operations.
  • The bus from Southampton's cruise port to Southampton Central Station is now called QuayConnect.
  • BritainShrinkers (a company selling "unescorted tours" from London via Eurostar trains) is no longer in business.
  • Big Ben will only ring for special holidays and occasions while the four-year restoration to the Elizabeth Tower and clock is underway.
  • Ebury Wine Bar has closed.

For books printed before July 2017, the following may also apply:

  • The time of the Changing of the Guard in front of Buckingham Palace has changed to 11 a.m. To see it up close from one location, we recommend getting there at 10 a.m (or earlier in high season).

Oxford & nearby

  • At Blenheim Palace, you can show your train or bus ticket to get a 30 percent discount off the admission price.
  • At Blenheim Palace, the Hanborough train station now has bus service to the palace (bus #233, 2/hour, 10 minutes).
  • No. 1 Ship Street is now open daily Mon–Sat 12:00–22:00, Sun 12:00–16:30.
  • Bath Place Hotel has a new phone number: +44 (0)1865/791-812.
  • The Tower House has a new email address: info@towerhouseoxford.co.uk.
  • The Holywell B&B has closed.
  • Oxford Castle has a new website: www.oxfordcastleandprison.co.uk.
  • The Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology is now open Mondays. Its new hours are: daily 10:00–17:00, with extended hours on the last Friday of the month until 20:00.
  • The opening hours for visitors of Christ Church College's dining hall (a favorite for Harry Potter fans) are now Mon–Fri 10:00–11:30 & 14:00–17:00, Sat–Sun 14:00–17:00 (it can still close on short notice). Outside the school term, it's typically open daily 10:30–17:00.
  • Duke Humfrey’s Library has a new website: www.tickets.ox.ac.uk.
  • Blackwell's Walking Tours are no longer in business.

For books printed before April 2018, the following may also apply:

  • Travelers can book Oxford Castle tours online to avoid long lines. Tours of the castle are mandatory for entry.
  • The News Café has closed.

Portsmouth

  • Fortitude Cottage has closed.
  • The D-Day Museum is now called The D-Day Story and has a new phone number: +44 (0)23/9288-255.
  • Broad Street 35 B&B is closing at end of October 2019.

For books printed before April 2018, the following may also apply:

  • Most printings of Rick Steves England, Seventh Edition include a version of the Portsmouth map (pp 296–297) with a key showing the incorrect labels for dots 12–16; here's a downloadable PDF of the corrected Portsmouth map.
  • The Royal Marines Museum has closed. Its collections will eventually move to the Georgian Boathouse building in the Historic Dockyard (slated to open in 2020).
  • The tourist information office is now located in the Portsmouth Museum. It no longer offers Sunday guided walks and has new hours (daily 10:00–17:00, Oct–March until 16:30). A more convenient tourist information point is at The Hard Interchange bus station next to the Harbour train station (daily 9:30–17:15).
  • The Spinnaker Tower has a new phone number for booking tickets: +44 (0)23/9285-7520.
  • Oyster Cottage B&B has closed.
  • The Georgian Tearooms at the Historic Dockyard have closed.

Stonehenge

  • In Salisbury, Spire House B&B no longer maintains a website, email address, or landline. (They still accept bookings through Airbnb.)
  • In Salisbury, The Cloisters pub is now called The Bell & Crown.

For books printed before September 2018, the following may also apply:

Stratford

For books printed before April 2018, the following may also apply:

  • Individual tickets can now be purchased at all Shakespeare Birthplace Trust sights. A "Full Story" combo-pass covering all five sights (Shakespeare's Birthplace, Shakespeare's New Place, and Hall's Croft in town; and Mary Arden's Farm and Anne Hathaway's Cottage just outside Stratford) is available to purchase at any of the sights or from the tourist information office, and is 10 percent cheaper online (£22.50 at sights, £22 from tourist information, £20.25 online). The "any three" combo-pass is available only at the tourist information office (£16.95). Shakespeare's Grave is not covered by any combo-ticket.

Warwick & Coventry

For books printed before April 2018, the following may apply:

  • The Coventry tourist information office is now located in the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum. It has new hours and a new telephone number (Mon–Sat 10:00–16:00, Sun 12:00–16:00, tel. +44 (0)24/7623-4284).

Windsor & nearby

  • In Windsor, Park Farm B&B no longer has family rooms and no longer allows children under age 12.

York

  • York Minster hours have changed and are now Mon–Sat 9:00–16:30, Sun 12:30–15:00.
  • The Free Walks with Volunteer Guides have new hours. Tours now depart at 10:15 and 13:15 year-round, with an additional 18:15 departure June–Aug.
  • St. Raphael Guesthouse has new owners: Fran & Jamie. They will continue to honor a Rick Steves discount to those who book direct, and their contact info is the same.
  • The Hazelwood (accommodations) has closed.

For books printed before April 2018, the following may also apply:

  • Free walks with volunteer guides on summer evenings now begin at 18:15.
  • The Jorvik Viking Centre has reopened.
  • The Blue Bicycle restaurant is indefinitely closed after suffering flood damage.
  • Evil Eye Lounge has stopped serving food, but still serves drinks.
  • Abbeyfields Guest House has closed.
  • Amber House B&B has closed.