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!

Across Britain

  • The National Express Skimmer Pass (which had offered unlimited bus rides) has been suspended.
  • Eurail Global Passes now include Great Britain — see our 2019 rail-travel update.

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

  • The Brit Xplorer bus pass has been discontinued.

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

Across Scotland

  • Jamie Oliver's restaurants have closed.

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

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

  • The Freedom of Scotland rail pass has been renamed the "BritRail Spirit of Scotland" pass.

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.

Cardiff & South Wales

  • In the Wye Valley, the Chepstow Museum is now closed Wednesdays.
  • In Cardiff, Moksh Indian restaurant has closed.
  • In Cardiff, Got Beef restaurant has closed.
  • In Cardiff, Cafe Citta is now closed Sun–Mon.
  • In Cardiff, the New York Deli is now closed Sundays.
  • The River House has a new phone number: +44 (0)29/2010-5590.
  • Church Guest House has a new phone number: +44 (0)29/2169-0033.
  • St. John the Baptist Church is now open to visitors on Sundays (10:00–18:00).
  • In Cardiff, the tourist information office is now inside Cardiff Castle's visitors center, though a castle ticket is not required (daily 9:00–17:00). The other two information offices (in the Old Library downtown and in the Wales Millennium Centre at Cardiff Bay) have closed.

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

  • The Doctor Who Experience in Cardiff has closed.
  • Beaufort House B&B in Cardiff has closed.
  • The Florence hotel near Tintern Abbey has closed.

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

  • The Cathedral House B&B in Cardiff has closed.

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.

Edinburgh

  • Edinburgh's buses now accept smartphone payment apps.
  • The tourist information office has moved to the Royal Mile across from St. Giles' Cathedral (Mon–Sat 9:00–17:00, Sun from 10:00, June daily until 18:00, July–Aug daily until 19:00, 249 High Street, tel. +44 (0)131/473-3868, www.visitscotland.com).
  • The road next to the Scottish parliament building has permanently closed; it no longer connects to the Royal Mile.
  • Dunedin Guest House has a new phone number: +44 (0)131 668 4438.
  • The Pinnies & Poppy Seeds bakery on St. Mary's Street has closed.

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

  • The Scottish National Gallery is renovating. Visitors should expect some exhibits to be closed and pieces missing during the renovation.
  • Gladstone's Land can only be visited by booking a one-hour tour. Travelers can book ahead to ensure a spot in person or by phone (tel. +44 (0)131/226-5856).
  • Smart City Hostel is now called SafeStay Edinburgh and has a new website: www.safestay.com.
  • Aonach Mòr B&B has closed.
  • The following eateries in the Dalkieth Road neighborhood have closed: Hewat's Restaurant, Hellers Kitchen, Reverie Bar, Positano Ristorante, and Forn.
  • MacTours hop-on, hop-off bus is no longer running.

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

  • Brodie's Hostels has closed.
  • Local guide Ken Hanley has a new email address: kennethhanley@me.com.
  • Kenvie Guest House has closed.

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.

Glasgow

  • The city's tourist information office has moved to 156a/158 Buchanan Street, just across from Nelson Mandela Plaza.
  • The Glasgow School of Art's shop and visitor tours are permanently closed (but the school's Vic bar/café has reopened).
  • The Burrell Collection is closed for renovation until spring 2021.
  • Expect a wait to enter the Hunterian Gallery's Mackintosh House, where admission is currently limited to 12 visitors at a time (and guided tours are not running).
  • The Tenement House is now open weekends year-round with off-season (Nov–Feb) hours of Sat–Mon 11:00–16:00 (closed Tue–Fri in off-season).
  • Pipers are now on hand to perform and answer questions at the National Piping Centre on Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays at 12:00 and 14:00, as well as Saturdays at 12:00.
  • Tours at the Tennent's Brewery are now Mon–Sat on the hour 10:00–18:00 and Sun 12:00–17:00.
  • Cail Bruich restaurant is now closed Sun–Mon (and has new hours the rest of the week: lunch Wed–Sat 12:00–14:00, dinner Tue–Sat 18:00–21:00).
  • The Empire Coffee Box has closed.

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

  • The former Willow Tea Room on Sauchiehall Street is now called Mackintosh at the Willow (new tel. +44 (0)141/204-1903).

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

  • The Mackintosh Trail Ticket has been discontinued.
  • Visitors can only enter the Mackintosh House at the Hunterian Gallery with a free guided tour in the morning, but are now allowed in without a tour in the afternoon.
  • Adelaides Guest House has closed.
  • The Ketchup diner has closed.

Glencoe & Fort William

  • Ghlasdruim B&B in Glencoe has closed.
  • The Heatherlea B&B in Glencoe has a new phone number: +44 (0)788-436-7354 (and Jo is no longer running the B&B with Helen).

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

  • The Morven Cottage B&B in Glencoe has closed.
  • Dunire Guest House in Glencoe has closed.
  • Glenmorven Guest House in Fort William has closed.

Inverness & Loch Ness

  • The Little Neuk in Loch Ness is now called The Nourish Ness Community Café.

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

  • The restaurant where Inverness Bike Tours meets is now named Prime.
  • Happy Tours no longer offers walking tours of Inverness, but instead offers minibus tours of the Highlands.
  • Ryeford Guest House in Invernesshas 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.
  • The new Windermere Jetty Museum, on the east shore of the lake, displays skiffs, motorboats, and steam launches while recounting the history of boats and boating on Windermere. Visitors can peek into the conservation workshop and take boat rides on a restored steamer.
  • 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).

North Wales

  • In Ruthin, Mari Roberts is no longer leading tours.
  • In Llangollen, Plas Newydd is now open daily 10:30–17:00.
  • In Beddgelert, the Colwyn Guest House has a new email address: colwyn276@gmail.com.
  • In Beddgelert, the Tanronnen Inn has a new email address: tanronnen@btconnect.com.
  • Near Conwy, on the Isle of Anglesey, the Beaumaris Gaol is now open daily 10:00–17:00.
  • Near Conwy, Bodnant Garden's extended Wednesday hours now go through September (Wed until 20:00 May–Sept). The garden's hours are now daily 10:00–17:00, Wed until 20:00 May–Sept; Nov–Feb until 16:00.
  • From Conwy, there are now two buses/hour to Beddgelert and they run every day. Some are more direct, stopping in either Bangor or Caernarfon rather than always stopping in both.
  • Castlebank Hotel no longer offers a Rick Steves discount. They also have a new email address: reservations@castlebankhotel.co.uk.
  • Gwynfryn B&B has a new website: www.gwynfrynbandb.co.uk.
  • In Porth Eirias, CogCogs Bike Hire has closed. We now recommend Buster's Cycles in nearby Kinmel Bay.
  • The website for information about Wales' castles and other historic monuments is now: www.cadw.gov.wales.
  • The Cantorion Goledd Cymru men's choir in Betws-y-Coed (in Snowdonia National Park) holds practices (not concerts) every other Sunday afternoon in summer, which are held at St. Mary's Church, not St. Anne's.

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

  • Conwy Valley Railway has a new website: www.conwyvalleyrailway.co.uk.
  • Veloconwy bike rental shop in Conwy has closed.
  • Conwy Pantry restaurant is now called "Love to Eat."
  • The bluegrass festival in Conwy has been cancelled for the forseeable future.
  • Official guided tours of Caernarfon Castle have been discontinued.
  • Totters Hostel in Caernarfon has a new email address: totters.hostel@gmail.com.
  • Blas restaurant in Caernarfon has closed.
  • Pen-y-Gwryd Hotel near Beddgelert can only be booked by phone (+44 (0)1286/970-211).

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

Oban

  • City Sightseeing no longer offers a bus tour from Oban.
  • The Skipinnish Ceilidh House is now called "The View," and has new owners (but the music and dance offerings are the same).
  • The Kitchen Garden restaurant has closed.

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

St. Andrews

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

  • The Glass House restaurant has closed.
  • The Grill House restaurant has closed.

Stirling

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

  • Cressington B&B has 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.