• Canterbury's River Stour
  • Beachy Head
  • HMS Victory, Portsmouth
  • Stonehenge
  • Dartmoor
  • Port Isaac in Cornwall
  • St. Michael's Mount
  • Tintagel Castle
  • Bath

Tour Questions? See our FAQ | Call 425-608-4217

Villages of South England in 13 Days Tour

from $4,095 per person + air

Optional Single Supplement $725

See Tour Dates

Starting in Canterbury and ending in Bath, our Villages of South England tour brings you to the very roots of British history and culture. Your Rick Steves guide will introduce you to locals who have talents to share and stories to tell. You'll learn about and taste the delicious seafood, comforting cream teas, and hearty ales crafted from generations-old recipes. You'll marvel at the sights as well, from the iconic White Cliffs of Dover to the sweeping moorlands of Dartmoor, to ancient stone circles, exuberant English gardens, cliff-perched villages, and great sailing ships. Join us for the Villages of South England in 13 Days! 

Dates & Prices

2018

2019

What's Included

  • A small, friendly group of 24–28 people — half the size of most tour groups
  • Full-time services of a professional Rick Steves guide and local experts who will make the fascinating history, art, and culture of England come alive for you
  • All tours and admissions — at no extra cost — covering at least 24 group sightseeing events • Canterbury walking tour • Canterbury Cathedral and stained glass conservatory • River Stour punt tour • Dover Castle and Wartime Tunnels • White Cliffs of Dover • Beer tasting • Rye • Pevensey Castle • South Downs Way–Beachy Head walk • Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, including HMS Victory and the Marie Rose Museum • Salisbury Cathedral • Stonehenge • Corfe Castle • Scenic steam locomotive railway ride • Jurassic Coast • Dartmoor National Park walk • Port Isaac • Lanhydrock Gardens • Geevor Tin Mine • Cornish pasty demonstration • St. Ives • St. Michael's Mount • Tintagel Castle visit • Bath walking tour…and more.
  • All group transportation from Canterbury to Bath
  • 12 nights' accommodations in memorable, centrally located hotels
  • All breakfasts and half your dinners
  • All tips for guides and driver
  • Rick Steves Travel Store credit to use toward guidebooks for your trip
  • Guaranteed tour price, locked in the moment you make your deposit
  • Optional single supplements — this tour has a limited number of private rooms for solo travelers for an additional fee
  • Tour alum discount of $50 for each tour you've taken prior to 2018
  • 50% discount on a consulting appointment with our in-house experts to assist with your pre- or post-tour travel plans
  • Flexibility should you need to transfer, or cancel/interrupt your tour.

Fine print: You are responsible for the cost of your drinks and free-time sightseeing. See our Tour Conditions for important details regarding everything listed above.

Itinerary

Daily Activity Key
  • Light = 2–4 miles of mostly level walking throughout the day.
  • Moderate = 2–6 miles walking throughout the day with some hills and stairs.
  • Strenuous = 2–8 miles of walking throughout the day with lots of hills, stairs, and uneven terrain.

Day 1: Welcome to England

The beautiful medieval city of Canterbury is an easy train ride from central London — and the perfect jumping-off point for our Villages of South England adventure. We'll meet at our hotel at 5 p.m. for a "Welcome to England" get-together. Then we'll take an evening walking tour along Canterbury's colorful lanes and get acquainted over dinner. Sleep in Canterbury (3 nights). No bus. Walking: light.

Day 2: Canterbury Cathedral

This morning we'll make our own little pilgrimage to the impressive Canterbury Cathedral, one of the most important churches in England. After touring the cathedral (and learning about the dramatic martyrdom of Thomas Becket), we'll meet with conservators who are tasked with preserving one of England's largest collections of medieval stained glass. After lunch you'll have some time to explore the historic layers of this pilgrimage city, finishing with a punt trip along the River Stour. Tonight is a perfect evening to enjoy an evensong performance at the Cathedral. No bus. Walking: moderate.

Day 3: Dover Castle and the White Cliffs

After breakfast we'll meet our coach and driver and head to the White Cliffs and the imposing fortress of Dover Castle. We'll explore the Great Tower and Medieval Tunnels before entering the WWII-era Secret Wartime Tunnels (from which the British directed the perilous evacuation from Dunkirk in 1940). After lunch we'll take a short walk to explore the White Cliffs, famous for their geology and historic role. We'll return to Canterbury, where we'll have a beer tasting at a local brewery. The evening is yours to find a cozy restaurant for dinner. Bus: 2½ hours. Walking: strenuous.

Day 4: Rye, Battles, and Beaches

Today we'll discover more of England's southeast coastline beginning with a stop in the half-timbered village of Rye, where we'll explore its cobbled streets and medieval passageways. After lunch we'll visit the ruins of Pevensey Castle, the site from where, in 1066, the Norman King William launched his invasion of England and defeated the English King Harold in the Battle of Hastings. Then we'll stroll the South Downs Way for a view of England's famous white chalk cliffs at Beachy Head. We'll end our day peacefully, amidst the thatched roofs and timber-framed buildings of quaint Alfriston, where we'll enjoy dinner together and sleep (1 night). Bus: 3 hours. Walking: strenuous.

Day 5: The Great Ships of Portsmouth

This morning we'll drive to the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard for a day devoted to Britain's rich nautical history. You'll have a chance to tour HMS Victory, the warship of Admiral Lord Nelson that defeated the French at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. We'll also visit the newly renovated Mary Rose Museum, built to showcase Henry VIII's sunken warship that was raised from the sea in the 1980s. You'll also have the opportunity for a look at traditional woodworking skills in action at the historic boat workshop. Late this afternoon we'll drive to Salisbury, where we'll sleep (2 nights). Bus: 3 hours. Walking: moderate.

Day 6: Salisbury and Stonehenge

We'll begin the day touring the magnificent Salisbury Cathedral, famous for its rich lore and towering Gothic spire. In addition, we'll visit the Chapter House, which is home to one of four original copies of the Magna Carta, the 1215 document that first established that everyone — even the king — was subject to the law. This afternoon we'll venture out to nearby Stonehenge. We'll learn about and ponder the origins of these iconic stones that are as old as the Pyramids before returning to Salisbury for a free evening. Bus: 1 hour. Walking: moderate.

Day 7: Corfe Castle and the Jurassic Coast

All aboard! After a morning drive through the enchanting Dorset countryside, we'll learn about England's railroad past with a ride on a preserved heritage steam railway. Upon arrival in the village of Corfe, we'll conquer the imposing hilltop ruins of Corfe Castle, one of the earliest castles to be built from stone. After lunch we'll travel west to discover the natural beauty of the Jurassic Coast and its geologic formations, which date back 185 million years. Our day ends in the cozy village of Chagford — within Dartmoor National Park — where we'll enjoy dinner together. Sleep in Dartmoor National Park (2 nights). Bus: 3½ hours. Walking: moderate.

Day 8: Dartmoor National Park

Today we'll explore the natural wonders of Dartmoor National Park, home to wooded forests, desolate moors, and stone bridges. We'll learn about this compelling and varying landscape that inspired great literature, including The Hound of the Baskervilles. This evening is free for you to enjoy one of Dartmoor's man-made wonders, the cozy country pub. Bus: 3 hours. Walking: moderate.

Day 9: Port Isaac and English Gardens

We'll drive into Cornwall today, known for its dramatic, wave-swept coast and charming fishing villages, including our first stop, Port Isaac. A traditional village with narrow winding streets, it's also known as the home of the TV series Doc Martin. After lunch, we'll visit the tranquil Lanhydrock Gardens, known for its herbaceous borders, formal gardens, and ancient woodlands. Then we'll continue our drive deeper into Cornwall and along its famed, rugged Penwith Peninsula. We'll end the day with dinner together. Sleep on the Penwith Peninsula (3 nights). Bus: 3½ hours. Walking: moderate.

Day 10: Penwith and Pasties

Today we'll spend the day exploring the Penwith Peninsula, home to fishing villages and rocky, windblown scenery. We'll begin the day learning all about Cornwall's most famous culinary contribution — the pasty — with a demonstration (and sampling!) of how these traditional one-handed meals are made. Then we'll don hard hats at the Geevor Tin Mine and learn about the importance of tin mining to this region and Britain's Industrial Age. We'll return to our home village with time for some exploration and dinner on your own. Bus: 3 hours. Walking: moderate.

Day 11: St. Ives and St. Michael's Mount

This morning we'll conquer St. Michael's Mount, the dramatic rock island first inhabited by monks more than 1,500 years ago. Now a stately home, we'll have time to explore the castle and gardens before returning to the mainland. After lunch we'll explore the picturesque harbor town of St. Ives. You can stroll the twisty lanes of the old town, visit one of its numerous art galleries, or grab some ice cream and people-watch at the beach before returning to our home village for a free evening. Bus: 2 hours. Walking: strenuous.

Day 12: Tintagel Castle and Bath

This morning we'll head north and stop to see the dramatic ruins of Tintagel Castle, long associated with King Arthur. Then we'll head to our final destination, the elegant Georgian city of Bath (a wonderful place to extend your England vacation — or easily pop back to London). After a short walking tour, we'll enjoy a final dinner together and raise a hearty toast to our adventures. Cheers! Sleep in Bath (1 night). Bus: 5 hours. Walking: strenuous.

Day 13: Tour Over After Breakfast

Breakfast is provided, but there are no group activities today. Bath is an easy 90-minute train ride to central London, with connections to Heathrow and Gatwick airports. For those not yet ready to return home, Bath is a delightful city with many sightseeing options. Cheerio!

Physical Demands

Our tours are physically active! It's an essential part of the Rick Steves tour experience. On our Villages of South England in 13 Days tour — among other things — you'll need to happily…

  1. Carry/roll your luggage over uneven pavement (possibly several blocks) and up stairways to reach your hotel, then up several flights of stairs to reach your room.
  2. Be on your feet, walking and standing, for up to three hours, indoors and outdoors, in all weather conditions.
  3. Sleep with street noise and no (or weak) air conditioning.
  4. After orientation and transportation lessons, be able to navigate around places on your own.
  5. Hike over steep, slippery, cobbled, and uneven terrain at several sites, including Dover Castle, St. Michael's Mount, and Tintagel Castle.

Reviews

Fred

Laguna Niguel, CA

Tour: 09/18/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A very well organized tour which included a broad sweep of English history and geography along the south coast. Highlights were Canterbury, Dover, Portsmouth and Dartmoor. We were in good hands with Mark's expert narrative and Paul's masterful driving down some narrow country lanes. You should have more than a passing knowledge of English history to get the most of this tour including the Norman Conquest, English Civil War, ruling houses, Admiral Nelson ect. Be ready to walk a lot!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hiking up to Moors in Dartmoor. Great views of the sea and evidence or prehistoric stone structures. Also enjoyed the day at Portsmouth Historic Dock Yard touring the HMS Victory and Henry VIII Mary Rose. We were also lucky enough to see a Spitfire flyover around Beachy Head!"

Dan

Greensboro, NC

Tour: 09/18/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Educational, entertaining, fun!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Canterbury Cathedral and Salisbury Cathedral"

Diane

Olympia, WA

Tour: 09/18/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a very enjoyable tour with a great tour guide and bus driver. Really enjoyed getting into the small villages, and the variety of sites and activities on the tour. The weather cooperated too!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I don't have just one! Here are my favorites: the Mary Rose, Corfe Castle, St Michael's Mount and Tintagel."

Mark

Olympia, WA

Tour: 09/18/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Villages of South England tour was a wonderful experience rich with layers of history, quaint villages, and unforgettable natural scenery.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many but the Tintagel castle overlooking the sea at Cornwall was a real treat."

Suzanne

Stuart, VA

Tour: 09/18/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a great trip! I felt like this trip included more "experiences," and fewer typical tourist activities like museums, than most tours. The scenery of South England was stunning! I've been in England several times, and each time I fall more deeply in love. This trip was off the beaten path to places most England tours don't visit, and I felt showed us more of today's living.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to pick just one "wow" moment, but for sure one was seeing the White Cliffs of Dover! Not just one time, but from several locations and angles on two different days. Also, Tintagel Castle was way more than I had anticipated. The scenery was absolutely breath-taking, and the ruins were fascinating! Dover Castle! The tunnels were so interesting, with a very moving presentation about Dunkirk. I could have spent much more time exploring the Castle itself."

Joseph

Las Vegas, NV

Tour: 09/18/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

As usual my Rick Sieves tour was a wonderful experience. We visited many fascinating locations and learned much about the history of the area. Laurie and I have become confirmed "Ricksters" that is repeat Rick Steves tour-takers. This was our third tour and we are signed up for next year (Scandinavia tour). And so many people on this tour raved about the Best of England tour that we intend to take that tour in the future. Mark, our guide, was excellent.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is difficult to pick one experience but I suppose I would pick the visit to Portsmouth and the HMS Victory. I am retired from the U. S. Navy and really enjoyed seeing the flagship of one of history's greatest naval heroes. The surprise visit to a farm to see a real sheep dog work was also amazing and unique. I would rate both at 10 out of 10 on the "Rickter" scale."

Laurie

Las Vegas, NV

Tour: 09/18/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour gave us a wonderful view of southern England and a real appreciation for village life. We truly enjoyed seeing, experiencing, dining, and sleeping in villages such as Alfriston and Chagford, as well as larger towns and cities such as Canterbury, Penzance, and Bath. We learned a lot about the history of these places and had unique experiences, such as observing a working dog on a Devon farm, making pasties in a Cornish bakery, and touring a brewery and a tin mine. Wonderful tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to name just one. If I have to, I would say, seeing Stonehenge and learning about the history of this ancient site as well as the ancient stone sites on Dartmoor. Tintagel Castle is pretty outstanding, too!"

Howard

Woodinville, WA

Tour: 09/18/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We have taken several ETBD tours and this ranks right up there in the top three.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Picking out a "favorite" wow moment on this trip is almost impossible. I can certainly pick four top things. Eating the pasties that we made, watching the artisan repairing the stained glass windows at the Canterbury Cathedral shop, tramping the Moors, and the Portsmouth Shipyards various ships and it's restoration shop."

Diane

Elk Grove, CA

Tour: 09/11/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great locations. Great guide. Great bus driver. We felt the tour was well organized and a well-balanced set of diverse experiences. We especially appreciated the history lessons woven in to our sight-seeing experiences.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our absolute favorite moments were those we spent climbing and touring St. Michael's Mount. The stunning views from a stunning location were awe-inspiring. Learning even more about the story of this history-filled location was very special to us."

Paul

Wilmette, IL

Tour: 09/11/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved everything about the tour, from the awe-inspiring cathedrals to the rugged coastline of Cornwall. But the ruins of Tintadgel Castle were probably my favorite. This tour was very active as there is so much to see, and It left little free time for independent exploration. Would have liked it even more if the tour had been extended at least one day to allow for additional free time to wander thru some of the small villages. Tom was the perfect guide and host for the tour.

Dianne

Renton, WA

Tour: 09/11/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a wonderful time. We went early and spent several days in Canterbury and should have stayed longer in Bath. We enjoyed the people on the tour and had a wonderful, humorous and very knowledgeable and very "english" guide. My only regret is that I didn't manage to have cream tea every day!!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I enjoyed all the historic venues. I thought I would feel pretty jaded about visiting Stonehenge as we have read about it so much and yet it was amazing to see and walk around those ancient stones and wonder about their story and the people that treasured and built such a grand monument. Thank you for putting such an interesting tour together."

Elizabeth

South Australia,

Tour: 09/11/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

really enjoyed the choices of towns/villages. All were very interesting with lots to see and do. The hotels were excellent as was the food. the other tour members were great fun and joined in everything with great gusto. couldn't say enough about our tour guide, Tom-from-Cornwall. He was a fount of knowledge and had a very good sense of humour. he organized a number of activities which were all fun. I had no trouble eating Marmite and black pudding or drinking Pimms no 1 cup.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"probably visiting St Michael's Mount as it was on my bucket list. Canterbury, Rye, St Ives - all were excellent. All the museums and other destinations were very good. It was a nice idea to visit Port Isaac as apparently the people from the US are huge fans of Doc Martin."

Mary

Tomahawk, WI

Tour: 09/11/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The villages of South England tour was wonderful. I would highly recommend it for the stunningly beautiful scenery, nicely paced days filled with history, cozy pubs for dinners and restful nights at quaint hotels. A great 13 days. I especially enjoyed Salisbury (Cathedral), Portsmouth (boat building and ships), Cornwall (Port Issacs).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite was seeing Dover and the WWII tunnels"

Sharon

Eugene, OR

Tour: 09/11/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was perfect for me. Everything I expected and more. I had a wonderful time and the tour group jelled into a really great and very compatible group of travelers. I am a passionate reader. I love history, English literature, and English mystery novels too. I loved being in all these places in England that I have read about in history or novels. I also love the cultural things that get introduced into a Rick Steves' tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to list them all. Dover castle, the WWII tunnels & Battle of Britain site, Portsmouth Navel Yard tour of Nelson's ship & the Mary Rose. "Big Lizzie" seen from the harbor tour. Stonehenge and the moors at Dartmoor NP with all the sites from prehistoric peoples. Awesome things to do for a history lover. Loved all the small villages, the beautiful cathedrals at Canterbury & Salisbury. Love castles & especially loved stopping at Tintagel. I love the King Arthur legends. & pasties!"

Glenn

Apple Creek, OH

Tour: 09/11/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was full of many different types of activities and places. The tour director was well prepared and knowledgable. Great group of people on the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The town of Salisbury was my favorite part of the trip."

Lynell

Noblesville, IN

Tour: 09/11/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour guide made the whole experience come alive. With a small group we we were able to get to know each other quickly. A enthusiastic group of people. Even our bus driver added to the tour. The country side was beautiful even if it rained almost everyday. I especially liked the added surprises like watching Matt the sheep dog work the flock.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I took a lot of pictures of flowers and gardens. I was wowed by how beautiful this time of year showed its gardens off."

Janiece

Michigan City, IN

Tour: 09/11/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our third Rick Steves tour and it was wonderful. It is always interesting to see the many people on the tour who are on their fifth or even tenth Rick Steves tour. Our guide, Tom, was outstanding- very informative, kind and had a wonderful sense of humor. All was well organized and efficient.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Making pasties, going to St. Ives, and St. Michael's Mount."

Mike

Renton, WA

Tour: 09/11/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I greatly enjoyed all the town & villages we went to. The Canterbury & Salisbury cathedrals were amazing. I went to a number of Evensongs at both Cathedrals. I also attended church services at St Martins in Canterbury. The people we met there were very open and interested in where we came from, we met all 15 folks. ( we were late to the service, because the church service times were incorrect in Rick Steve's Book).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many "Wow" moments from HMS Victory, Stonehenge,"Port Wenn (Port Isac)", the Tin mine, St Michael's Mount. But "The WOW" moment would have to be attending the Minack Theater and watching Gilbert & Sullivan's Patience. The setting on the cliffs of Cornwall and watching their musical was just a joy for all the senses. Many Thanks to Tom for making this happen for us....."

Walter

Michigan City, IN

Tour: 09/11/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Outstanding as always. Needed a doctor in Penzances , Hotel front desk in Penzances got me an appointment. Truly great service. Some days were a little longer than the last trip but slept well. Looking forward to the next one

Favorite "WOW" moment

"PORT ISSAC LIVED OUT THE DOC MARTIN DREAM"

Susan

Tacoma, WA

Tour: 09/04/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great guide, great hotels, great locations and experiences. All I had expected from this tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Punting in Canterbury, Tresselwick Gardens, St. Michaels Mount"

Laurie

San Clemente, CA

Tour: 09/04/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour really touches cultural England. Cathedrals & churches, castles, famous historical figures, walks on the downs,history of the early people on the moors, traditional food, village life, legends, geography & current village life. Plus a great guide (Gillian) and a wonderful group to share it all with.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many, not just one! The walk on Beachy Head downs in the wild wind, sea, and open country was a truly unique and inspirational experience! Canterbury & Salisbury Cathedrals were moving and spiritual. Making Cornwell pasties, St Ives waterfront and St Michael's Mount were truly fun! Rainy Tintagel climb was an adventure I'll never forget."

Jerelyn

Fremont, CA

Tour: 09/04/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I LOVED this tour! It was a wonderful mixture of villages and small cities. As noted in the RS brochure, it is a physically challenging tour, so be warned and prepare in advance by walking for miles and climbing multiple flights of stairs. Hey, it is hard work (and great fun) climbing castles! Plus, this tour emphasizes history and culture in so many ways that you learn far more than you can imagine. Our guide, Gillian, and driver, Louise, were awesome.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There are too many to pick from! Our lodgings inside Canterbury Cathedral's walls, meeting local artisans, learning about Dover Castle's history throughout the centuries, attending evensong services inside beautiful cathedrals, making pasties, Dartmoor and the ponies, touring the HMS Victory and viewing the Marie Rose, punting in a rainstorm, scones in Rye, hiking Beachy Head, Cornwall, carefully meandering our way in a tin mine...I wish I had kept a daily diary! Delicious food, too."

Shelby

Tacoma, WA

Tour: 09/04/17

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

This was my 4th RS tour and my least favorite. This does not mean that it was dreadful, just not my favorite. Onto more positive things. The group of fellow travelers were fabulous. They were all lovely, interesting and adventurous people, a truly great lot. I am english and my intent was to visit family and friends on the way through, even the dear friends in Chagford (a place I know very well) of course all of them are in the churchyard they passed along a while ago.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Barging across Beachy Head for over an hour. I remember doing that with my dad when I was 7-8-9...... Seeing the Mary Rose museum in Portsmouth. Once again spent lots of time in Portsmouth with my Dad as a youngster. I was glad to see the renewal of the docks area. Salisbury. Missed the Stonehenge trip to attend a fabulous arts and crafts fair in the cathedral cloisters, plus a stone carving exhibition in the grounds. Artisans where working on replacements for the cathedral."

Larry

Apple Creek, OH

Tour: 09/04/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was delighted by the tour content, fellow tour members and especially by our guide, Gillian. Gillian was most informative. I loved the small villages, the green, the countryside, the sheep, the cows, the old, old buildings, the rivers and the sea.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Something about the walk along Beachy Head, above the cliffs in gale force winds and occasional rain was the top experience for me. I had never faced the elements in such an extreme way and found it exhilarating. Next to that was the morning with pasties and Marian. She is an extraordinary woman."

Barb

Hygiene, CO

Tour: 09/04/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was fast moving, and we visited amazing sites and villages one after another from day 1 to 13! Exploring all the counties I've been reading about in novels and biographies for years, was an incredible experience. The activities, choice of landmarks, hotels, and food were all better than my highest expectations. I've already signed up for another tour in the UK and can't wait!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This tour of historical landmarks and villages was a wow moment every single day! In opting for one big WOW, I'd pick our one night in Alfriston. This small village with the stone shops, brick bridges, thatched roofs, and verdant landscape was so peaceful! Walking along the Kissing Gate streamside path and coming upon a graceful swan was out of this world. Knowing the path continued for miles along the Southdowns' was extraordinary. I loved it all!"

Mary

Sonoma, CA

Tour: 09/04/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A great tour guide, and a wonderful group of fun people to travel with, made this a very enjoyable tour. Beautiful scenery every day. This really is a "green and pleasant land"! And the clouds were marvelous - they did bring some rain, but also rainbows and dramatic skies. So many varied experiences packed into a short time - a new adventure everyday!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Many wonderful moments - Going up that familiar hill to Doc Martin's house (Port Isaac) on a sunny day - Walking back from St. Michael's Mount on a stone pathway, after we had arrived by boat only 2 1/2 hours earlier - Seeing the lovely beach at St. Ives - Wandering through the water meadows in Salisbury with a field of sheep and the cathedral spire in the background, feeling like I was in a Constable painting."

Patricia

Charlottesville, VA

Tour: 09/04/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first RS tour, and we felt it was going to be a good fit. It was so good, we only hope our next can measure up. Seeing so many sights that were iconic to me, was priceless. It gave me a deep appreciation of the character and history of England, to see this region, which was always the first line of defense. And our guide, Gillian, always supplied the perfect music, video, anecdotes, and historical and cultural background. Our group was amazing - so much fun and laughter!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The time spent with the restoration masons, and extraordinary David, the stained glass master, at Canterbury Cathedral. Their expertise, very accessible explanations, patience with all our questions, and demonstrations were rare experiences. They gave us insight into how the Cathedral was built, hundreds of years ago, and how the skills necessary to maintain it will continue to be embraced by some very special people. Folkestone Battle of Britain Memorial, and Dover Castle and Wartime Tunnels."

Randolph

Charlottesville, VA

Tour: 09/04/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour exceeded expectations. It exposed us to the culture and history of England and how important the southern coastal region has been to this country. The villages, small cities, Cathedrals, castles, moors and beautiful green scenery, all gave us a real understanding and feel for the culture and history. It was also a wonderful experience to share with our new travel friends. Our guide, Gillian, was just wonderful. One of my most cherished memories is that we all laughed a lot together.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There was not one "wow" moment but many. The first was our talk with the masonry and stained glass artisans who do restoration work at Canterbury Cathedral; fascinating stories. The adrenaline filled walk along the cliffs at Beachy Head in a gale force wind; unforgettable. Visiting Victory and the Mary Rose in Portsmouth. Finally seeing Stonehenge; awesome. Visiting a tin mine with our guide Nick; sobering. A visit to Port Issac; Doc Martin's home. Climbing St. Michael's Mount; what a view!."

Diana

Poway, CA

Tour: 09/04/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A terrific tour! It was great to see so much of the south coast of England from Kent to Cornwall. Experiences were well-planned and varied as we visited smaller English villages and towns. A big "Thank you!" to our guide, Gillian, whose knowledge of England and lovely sense of humor made the trip so enjoyable. Not to be forgotten: our fellow travel buddies were very special, and I thank them all for making the trip memorable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me, there were three "WOW" days on this trip. The best day was in Portreath meeting baker-extrodinaire Marian, making pasties with her, eating them for lunch, and touring the Geevor tin mine with Nick in the afternoon. Another wonderful day in Cornwall included the visit to Doc Martin's Port Isaac followed by a brewery tour and lunch. Lastly, and not to be forgotten was the visit and climb to St. Michael's Mount. Great guides, great experiences!"

Joe

Ashland, OR

Tour: 08/21/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

excellent guide! Extremely knowledgeable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the Magna Carta and going out to St. Michaels"

Annie

Roswell, GA

Tour: 08/21/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It takes a native guide to give a tour group an in depth understanding and appreciation for a country. Roy clearly loves England, especially Southern England where he has lived all of his life. He never held back on the warts which helped us have a clearer picture of modern England and its current trials. Southern England is so beautiful and pastoral. Wonderful experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Two wows. First was touring Salisbury Cathedral with a charming guide and then seeing its incredible grace and beauty in the evening as the sun was setting. Second was viewing the majesty of St Michael's Mount from the land and then the sea as we boated out to the island. The gardens at St Michael's Mount are unique and absolutely gorgeous."

Susan

Barrington, NH

Tour: 08/21/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Once again, a pleasant group of travelers and a knowledgeable guide. While I enjoyed the tour, it was probably the least favorite of the 7 Rick Steves tours I've taken. The biggest flaw is the lack of adequate free time and the tendency to try to pack too much into each day.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several.St. Michael's Mount, the views at Tintangel and the "Poldark coast" en route to Portreath. And I just loved our brief stop in "Portwenn". Fortunately almost everyone on the tour was a Doc Martin fan."

Louis

Nine Mile Falls, WA

Tour: 08/21/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Well organized, fascinating tour. Enjoyed hiking on cliffs, moors, and countryside as well as exploring villages, castles, and WWII sites. Never tired of the rolling green hills and connecting hedgerows seen from the coach. Our leader, Roy, was an absolute treat! Not only knowledgeable of everything English, but his dry humor kept us constantly entertained. Much of his vocabulary, idioms and accentuation was completely novel to us. Just so British. Descriptive and clever. Lovely, really. Quite.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's difficult to nail down just one. Historic Canterbury pubs, majestic Beachy Head, mystical Stonehenge, and the picture-postcard Port Isaac ... e.g., Portwenn in PBS's "Doc Martin" all come to mind. And, my wife, Mary, was drawn into a passionate explanation of Brexit by an elderly woman waiting for a loo in Rye. When leaving, Mary had to agree with her: the loo really was so lovely that you didn't want to leave. Perhaps you should add it to the tour."

Janet

Sun Lakes, AZ

Tour: 08/21/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I enjoyed the seeing the sights in southern England. It was great having 2 fantastic photographers who hopefully those pictures we missed. Wish we could have spent more time in Bath. I would liked to have had more free time to explore the villages we visited. We were constantly on the go from breakfast until dinner.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the white cliffs of Dover."

Mark

Roseville, CA

Tour: 08/21/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Enjoyed the trip immensely. Trip provided many experiences out of the norm...like border collie sheep hearding demonstrations and cornish pasty making. Would have appreciated more detailed descriptions of access, distance and terrain surrounding certain destinations such as Mount St. Michaels or Tintagel. "Moderate" or "Strenuous" walking does not prepare you for 8% grades on uneven slippery terrain without railings or rest stops.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Loved the interactions with locals in the little towns and villages. Preferred the charm of little out of the way places over major attractions. Stained glass restoration in Canterbury was excellent. There was more than enough exposure to cathedrals and abby's."

Jack

Williamsburg, VA

Tour: 08/21/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour packs in a ton of British history and culture - from standing stones to Brexit - while enjoying the rich beauty and character of southern England. I like highly active vacations when overseas (I can rest a home) and this one delivered. Of course the Catherals, Castles, Stonehenge, etc. were great, but I also loved things like Stained glass conservation and Austell Brewery tasting and making/eating my own Pasty. The newly opened Mary Rose exhibit in addition to Victory is exceptional.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It was a small thing, but I chatted with one of the last of the Geevor miners who lost his job in the 1980's when the Thatcher gov't shut down the whole operation (which needed to happen despite the terrible cost to the workers). We talked in their dusty old locker room full of the miners' gear left behind the day they were all sent home, like Churchill's war rooms in London. What a great idea, and what pride and passion is evident, to turn an abandoned tin mine into a visitor destination."

Karen

Roseville, CA

Tour: 08/21/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Had a wonderful time and enjoyed many aspects of the trip and our fellow travelers. I did,however, feel that there was too much emphasis on cathedrals & castle-time, at the expense of interacting with locals. Would have liked to have our guide offer alternatives to some of the planned activities.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Portsmouth Dockyard's Mary Rose Museum was awesome! I also really enjoyed the Corfe Castle visit with the steam rail ride and the cream tea. That was a really good day overall."

Ellen

Portland, OR

Tour: 08/21/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My overall tour experience was outstanding. We traveled with a wonderful group of individuals who were interesting,engaged and curious. This made our trip so memorable. For me, the experiences of exploring cathedrals and villages was enhanced by the history and stories our guide Roy shared. Being in the heart of these enchanting places, whether gardens or medieval castles, was so much fun. I never would have experienced these hidden "gems" without the Rick Steves tour. Thank you.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me, my wow moments were surrounding the unique local experiences and the stunning natural beauty of the coastline. For example, seeing the stained glass conservation, exploring a pub or making our own pasties. The breathtaking beauty of Tintagel cliffs, Dover and St. Ives beaches was totally unexpected. Those were wow experiences for me."

Ben

El Cajon, CA

Tour: 08/21/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Enjoyed seeing countryside, churches, towns, museums, tunnels, pastures, small cities, big cities, WWII sites, gardens, castles, ruined castles, old ships, military seaports and meeting locals.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"While wearing a hardhat, bumping my head on a low rock while walking through a tin mine."

D'Arlyn

Austin, TX

Tour: 07/31/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The pace was just right, with usually two places or events to enjoy each day, plus time afterwards to walk the town we were staying in. Bus travel was smooth and generally was broken into 2-3 hour, or less, lengths. Tom and Meg were an easy-going and well-prepared guide team who enjoyed getting to know us travelers and our particularities and questions. They were experienced and impressive at getting our group of 19 to arrive at just the right times to enter sites, tours, or demonstrations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our walk (in the mist and wind) amid the Dartmoor National Park Bronze Age ruins of stone circles, round houses, ceremonial rows and burials was most memorable. The rocks and tors were a trigger to imagine how people lived here when the area was still forested and populated. This isn't to slight the astonishment, however, of seeing Salisbury and Canterbury Cathedrals and Corfe Castle: how did they build such beauty with simple tools?"

Bruce

Austin, TX

Tour: 07/31/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The guides were personable and knowledgable. Tom has a great sense of humor and ability to relate to us personally. We appreciated the good mix of programmed time and free time. Choices of hotels and restaurants were good: they had character, generally old and well kept. That added to the ambiance. Activities were well chosen, from the cathedrals to the brewery tour and even an impromptu trip to Port Isaac in Cornwall.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is hard...to single out one fine moment. Being at Stonehenge on a wonderful blue-sky day was a dream come true. But on a more personal level, it was meaningful to see the parts of Devon and Cornwall that my ancestors came from, and to make a Cornish pasty in Portreath. Even being among the stone remains of ancient people on a drizzly day on Dartmoor was special, probably because it was off the beaten track and because we had a great local guide."

Judith

Bellevue, WA

Tour: 07/31/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I have been on seven Rick Steves' tours and this was absolutely one of the best tours. I really enjoyed the lovely medieval city of Canterbury and walking tour. Well planned tour and the coach driver was fantastic driving on the narrow roads. Tom, the tour guide was very thoughtful and wonderful with all the tour members.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"A lot of "wow" moments. The tour group visited Stonehenge and explored the surrounding landscape, which was interesting. Another "wow" moment was a demonstration of preparing a pasty at a bakery and actually making a pasty and sampling one."

Kathleen

Seattle, WA

Tour: 07/31/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

loved being in small towns and cities and traveling basic roadways rather than freeways

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Tintagel and Mt. St. Michael's"

Gail

San Diego, CA

Tour: 07/31/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a delightful vacation from start to finish! Most of our group had been on several RSTours, and we were traveling in familiar historical territory, so we knew what to expect. This experience was quite elegant and thus reflected a lovely view of GB. We were guided by an Englishman who had a marvelously dry sense of humor and who made the trip a true vacation with friends. So, my first words to you are, thank you for a job well done. In Cornwall-ese that would be, "Proper job!"

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many that to list them would be a recitation of the itinerary. How about charming Salisbury for a sunset walk? I am a bit of a steam train buff, so I was especially happy to take a way-to-short ride on a typical English railroad to Corfe Castle. Wait, what about the happy surprise of pulling up to Port Isaac and... wow, there it was, Port Wen ! Some of us immediately became the giggling ladies of Doc Martin."

Karen

Los Altos, CA

Tour: 07/17/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great selection of important and beautiful places in Southern England.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Dover castle & white cliffs of Dover"

Lonnie

Daytona Beach Shores, FL

Tour: 07/17/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour took on quite a challenge! Seeing and traveling to the sights and destinations did become a reality never to forget thanks to the skill of our driver, Paul, and the "onward" spirit of Roy. Great expedition!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our time in the Dover War Tunnels."

Dana

Springfield, OR

Tour: 07/17/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved it! The towns were charming, the countryside lovely, and ocean views dramatic. As always, the people on the tour make the experience memorable. Our guide was knowledgeable and very personable, the driver very skillful, and my travel companions were all such nice people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I always like surprises outside my hotel windows. My first evening in Canterbury, I pulled back the curtain and was treated by the softly lit, peaked entrance to the cathedral in contrast with the dark blue sky, artistically framed by tree branches."

Carol

Livermore, CA

Tour: 07/17/17

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

The tour began in Canterbury at the Canterbury Lodge. The hotel and experiences there were very good. But, after that the visits to the various villages seemed very rushed. There was not adequate time to really appreciate or soak in the atmosphere of the little towns. Perhaps shortening or visiting fewer towns would be better. I would really have like another day in Salisbury or a whole day in Rye.Of course, using the first and last days as part of the tour would have really helped too.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"St. Michael's Mount"

Patsy

Johnson City, TX

Tour: 07/17/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We did brave the elements a lot on this trip: wind, rain, and cool temperatures (due to the wind and rain). Many great sites and activities but we seemed rushed so often..."Be back on the bus in 30 minutes." On the other hand, we had way too much time at the Portsmouth Historic Shipyard.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is so hard to choose on as there were so many! Looking at Canterbury Cathedral at night right outside our hotel room was incredible, but I think Salisbury Cathedral was the most beautiful inside. Getting to make pasties was a highlight as were the chalk cliffs (so happy we made it to the beach!)"

Richard

Tucson, AZ

Tour: 07/17/17

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

We saw many new places on this tour and we enjoyed most of them. This was our 8th Rick Steve's tour and this one seemed paced differently than the others for some reason. It was as if we were trying to pack too many sites into a day without being able to taken them in in a more complete and relaxing way. For example, I would eliminate the overnight in Alfriston, which had very little to offer, and add an extra day in fabulous Salisbury. Our tour members were all great fun to be with.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"MY "wow" moment was discovering the little beach town of St. Ives and it's sunny micro-climate! Could have easily spent 2 days there."

Pete

Seattle, WA

Tour: 07/17/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Karen and I combined a week in North England and Wales with the tour of South villages. We enjoyed the history, the beautiful countryside and seacoast . The tour group members were very compatible and we travel well together. Roy was an excellent guide and his knowledge of history and current British events was a tour highlight.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Dover castle and the secret war tunnels."

John

Hopkinsville, KY

Tour: 07/17/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Very enjoyable tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cliffs of Dover, Beachy Head, Battle of Britain Memorial."

Gloria

Daytona Beach Shores, FL

Tour: 07/17/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Well, it was after all a "Rick Steves'" tour, and true to my expectations! Allowing for the fact the tour included very difficult places to cover even in 13 days, some of the scheduling could use some changes. Many days were just too rushed and chaotic. However, we did see everything and more than promised thanks to our wonderful guide and driver!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I would not be able to choose any one moment among them all during the tour. But looking back through my photos at this point after the tour, I would say "wow, it is amazing that we all kept following Roy into all those unknown places, hurricane force winds, flooded waterways, and steep climbs!""

Michelle

Redmond, WA

Tour: 07/03/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Roy and Ben made the trip magical and memorable with their knowledge, wit and wisdom. These two quotes typified the journey: "Of course you ate ice cream. You're at the seaside. It's the rules." "You should be able to fly your kite tomorrow, perhaps twice." The pace was gentle, with time to wander; the the planned activities were thoughtfully woven in to the schedule so that we did a lot without being overwhelmed.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"From my travel journal: A day on the moor is a day-long "wow moment." ... But today, the whole day, was extraordinary. ...The second hike was at Peek Hill, inhabited by more sheep and ponies. We hiked to the summit, for fabulous views of Plymouth Bay and Cornwall. Also at the top is a bomb shelter from the days of the Cold War, and possibly a burial mound from an ancient civilization. The wind, the smell, the views, the beauty that is England was nearly overwhelming."

BJ

Bryan, TX

Tour: 07/03/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to pick just one ! Loved the day on the moors at Dartmoor, and the day at Portsmouth visiting the Mary Rose was wonderful!"

Eugene

Owasso, OK

Tour: 07/03/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We travelled from Canterbury to Cornwall and finished in Bath. Wonderful opportunity to visit historic and scenic sites of southern England. The trip was fast paced, varied and invigorating. I was continually pleasantly surprised. Our guide was fun, informative and took great care to ensure we had a great experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"After visiting Stonehenge, we drove by a nearby field absolutely brimming with red poppies. As far as the eye could see, there was an ocean of red. One the Stonehenge park rangers said the field had just started blooming with poppies a few days ago and were totally wild. The contrast between Stonehenge, where prehistoric man attempted to build a structure that helped them make sense of the natural world around them and the field of wild poppies, was both humbling and breathtaking."

Marlene

Portland, OR

Tour: 06/24/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

First Rick Steves tour , so I knew it would be good, since viewing the many fine TV episodes of his tours on PBS. The tour was fast-paced so it was important to be ready for every move. I really liked the variety of things to experience , whether it was a museum, cathedral, or out in the open with nature. I liked how organized it was and that details were pre-arranged so there was not a lot of deciding on my part. The hotels were for the most part comfortable , even if some were dark or small

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think I loved the days at St. Ives the most ! The beaches were spectacular and the main beach area had good food. I liked hiking down into the town from our hotel Tregemma."

Jerry

Chino Hills, CA

Tour: 06/24/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Beat all expectations! So glad that this tour has been added. It is outstanding! Of course, with every tour, the tour guide can make or break the experience. Mark was fantastic in every way. Our group thoroughly enjoyed the sites, history, and Mark's knowledge of the area. Even Paul, our bus driver was extraordinary! Thanks for the outstanding personnel, preparation, and organization that made this trip such a pleasant and interesting experience!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many, but a couple of my favorites: The beautiful hike and experience of the Corfe Castle ruins, as well as the very quaint village of Corfe! A total surprise and very enjoyable time! Also, the Mary Rose Museum in Portsmouth that featured the remains of the long lost Mary Rose ship dating back to 1545. A side trip that we took on our own in Canterbury was exploring the excavations of St. Augustine's Abbey. A total surprise and great experience!"

Rae

Kent, WA

Tour: 06/24/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We have been on nine RS tours and all of them have been wonderful. This tour was our favorite of them all. I can't say enough about the planning and consideration that goes into all of the RS tours. We love the balance of activities, bus time and free time that goes into the itinerary. I even had time to play a round of golf in St. Ives. A big thank you to Mark, Alexis, Paul and the home staff for fashioning a gem of a tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Every day we had wow moments with the activities, quaint villages and beautiful scenery along the way. However, my wow moment was the friends we made of our tour family including our leaders."

Sally

South Dartmouth, MA

Tour: 06/24/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful group, guides and coach driver. Good pacing and worthy places to visit. We had a lot of fun together and the concern our tour members had for each other and the concern our guides had for us were amazing. Our coach driver Paul was outstanding!! It was so much fun having him along and he did the most amazing job driving us safely around England. And the courtesy of providing water bottles was most gratefully appreciated.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Meeting Maurice ("Maury") Young at the Mary Rose Museum in the Historic Portsmouth Dockyards. He was on the dive team with Alexander McKee, locating Henry VIII's flagship after 500 years in 1971 and bringing her up in 1982. At 87 years young, he is still a guide at that wonderful museum."

Chuck

Louisville, CO

Tour: 06/24/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It's hard to believe, but this tour of villages in South England, was even better than our 2015 Best of England tour. We had the same tour guide, Mark, who was fantastic then and equally superb, actually better.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The shepherd, his two border collies, and their sheep herding demonstration."

Douglas

Colorado Springs, CO

Tour: 06/24/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our 20-person group was compatible in the sense that we were all capable and nobody was cross. Guide Mark created a team feeling amoung us enhancing the experience. Itinerary offered great range of experiences beyond castles and cathedrals. Dartmore indulged my interest in geology, climate and anthopology. Driver Paul deserves special credit for negotiating impossibly narrow roads. Mark deserves special credit or making me feel like a friend. Alexis kept us from straying.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Dartmore ancient stone infastructure and the population that must have existed to build it. Stonehenge. Also the chalk cliffs from Dover west filled with chert/flint nodules used in construction from ancient to recent times. And Dover castle was amazing! Salisbury cathedral spires look too delicate yet still survive."

Carol

Kent, WA

Tour: 06/24/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I would recommend this tour to anyone who loves breath-taking scenery, hiking to ancient ruins, learning fascinating history and seeing magnificent castles and cathedrals. My sincere thanks to Mark, our incredible guide, who brought history to life with his ability to eloquently weave together the past and the present. Alexis, our assistant guide, and Paul, our coach driver were both wonderful. (We were also fortunate to experience this tour with one of best groups of fellow travelers ever!)

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many "wow" moments... experiencing the fascinating WWII Wartime Tunnels, seeing both the Mary Rose Museum and HMS Victory, climbing up to the ruins of Corfe Castle, a "tasty pasty" demonstration, watching the skillful sheep-dogs, walking among the ancient stones (and not so ancient cows and horses) at Dartmoor National Park and climbing up to Tintagel Castle where we had the most incredible coastal views. This vacation was truly one WOW moment after another!"

Lisa

Dartmouth, MA

Tour: 06/24/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My first tour ever. It was a fun experience. I'm a busy Mom of 2 young girls and feel like I always have to manage the plans. It was fun to finally take a seat and let the details of logistics be taken care of. It was a fun group and our guide was knowledgeable and approachable, but didn't hover.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I especially enjoyed the walk over to St. Michael's Mount just as the tide was rising and Tintagel since we had fabulous weather. The pasty-making with Maid Marion and stained glass workshop interview/tour were particular highlights and I was super glad they were included. It made the tour distinct and special, since I feel certain I wouldn't have been able to schedule these on my own."

Ted

Spring, TX

Tour: 06/17/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall, this was an enjoyable tour. Liked the places (villages) we visited; liked the hotels/B & B's we stayed at generally. Liked the activities for the most part. However, although we knew there would be a lot of walking and climbing steps on the tour, this particular tour was a little bit "too much". and, hauling our suitcases, albeit small, up so many flights of stairs at the hotels is really getting to be a pain. It will be a definite consideration as to whether we take another tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our guide made the decision to take us to Port Isaac in Cornwall - the village where Dr. Martin is filmed. As big fans of the show, we loved this. Also, loved seeing The White Cliffs of Dover & Secret Tunnels and the Salisbury Cathedral & the Magna Carta."

Rita

Gettysburg, PA

Tour: 06/17/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I have been on several RS tours, including one of England, Scotland, and Wales. I love to visit "villages" in any country. Alfriston and Chagford were charming and so were the places we stayed. The hotels seem to have improved since our first tour. Our fellow travelers were friendly and seemed to be up for all adventures, even walking in the rain on Dartmour. The mist was exactly what I had pictured on the moor. The scenery was beautiful!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several "wow" moments. I loved the town of Canterbury and all the things to do there. Salisbury Cathedral was awe inspiring too. The Mary Rose Museum was a total surprise and absolutely fascinating. The scenery while walking along Beachy Head so beautiful, with the lovely chalk cliffs. Cornwall was perfect and the awe inspiring views day after day in Penzance did not get old. My very favorite stop was the tunnel under Dover Castle where the British directed the Dunkirk evacuation"

Charles

Arroyo Grande, CA

Tour: 06/17/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We had interesting sites and walks. The towns were great, but there was a little too much riding in the bus for my tastes.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Standing on the Dover cliffs with a clear view of France, and wondering what it was like during the Dunkirk evacuation, or the battle of Britain. There but for this narrow strait of water and the determination of the Brits, we would be speaking German."

Mary Ann

Upper Marlboro, MD

Tour: 06/17/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Every one of my Rick Steves' trips has been awesome and this one is no exception. First of all on my list of superlatives was our guide, Gillian. Next were the accommodations - all an upgrade from previous trips. I also appreciated the variety of activities and locations. Last, but definitely not least, were the meals we enjoyed.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I'd have to say the the Mary Rose Museum is my "Wow" moment and the thing I've most shared with friends."

Bonnie

Reno, NV

Tour: 06/17/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We had a really good time and a memorable experience. As with previous RS tours, we enjoyed the combination of free and structured time. Our fellow TMs were all friendly and pleasant. Our guide, Gillian, was great. That being said, the tour needs to be fine tuned. Some activities and destinations seem to be "fillers" and don't warrant the time spent. For example: too much time at Land's End, St Ives and Tintangel. We ended up wandering around aimlessly and - horrors! - shopping.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The gorgeous countryside, spectacular cathedrals and special RS experiences - e.g., pasty making, stained glass demo. For my husband, Trent, the tour of the tunnels used for the Battle of Britain."

Susan

Sequim, WA

Tour: 06/12/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Loved the tour and the wonderful organization of our leader, Tom. This was our 6thtour and love the small groups and family atmosphere after just a few days! Each lodging location had it's own charm and each time I travel, my suitcase gets lighter and lighter. No one cares that you may have worn the same shirt the day before!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Did not have one specific Wow moment, just took in each treasured event and basked in the beauty of that moment itself"

Patrick

Moorpark, CA

Tour: 06/12/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was outstanding. The fickle English weather cooperated, our tour guide was Tom, and we had a great bunch of people on our tour. The tour had the right balance of individual and group time. Food at hotels was very good and the hotels were very good. ALSO driver "Ben" did outstanding. Many fellow tour members had completed multiple Rick Steves' tours.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Portsmouth Naval yard. The HMS Victory tour was best ship tour ever attended. Also several other quality sites at the naval yard. Well worth the half day time alloted."

Barbara

Medford, MA

Tour: 06/12/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Terrific variety of experiences. Balance of activity, information, socializing, good food, surprises and on-our-own time for exploring testifies to RS experience and passion. It was all wonderful, but the tour of the brewery before the ploughman's lunch went on too long.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to say, but you know that. Side trips like to the memorial to the fighter pilots had a lot of impact. Contemplating Salisbury being built with hand tools was awe-inspiring. Punting. For Anglophiles who've read and watched so much, Tom and RS made a whole world, including its history, come alive."

Cheryl

Petaluma, CA

Tour: 06/12/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The southern England tour was great. Sometimes the anticipation is greater than the actual experience but not in this case. I loved every minute of it -- the scenery, the history with all the stories our guide told, and all the ancient ruins and churches.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Arriving at the Rose and Crown in Salisbury and seeing the view from our room. We walked out onto the green lawn sloping down to the Avon where the distant spire of the Cathedral towered over the trees on the opposite bank and a swan swimming in one direction and a punter coming from the other."

Lea

Bend, OR

Tour: 06/12/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We started our England adventure pre tour with 4 days in London, and had a wonderful time. Taking the train to Canterbury was seamless. The villages tour intrigued me as it seemed to be a cultural and historical tour combined. The path was well thought out, and the tour was full of variety. Our small group was friendly and many evenings were spent making new friends.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Since I am drawn to medieval cathedrals and castles, I would say Salisbury Cathedral with it's 404 foot spire and expansive lawn was breath taking. The significance of what was planned in the tunnels at Dover Castle was very humbling."

Kati

Framingham, MA

Tour: 06/12/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour was wonderful, very informational, many interesting activities, great destinations overall, a marvellous group of people. Canterbury and Salisbury were fabulous, Dover, Portsmouth, Stonehenge, Dartmoor. I could have skipped the hours spent in the Pasty shop or the Tressalick Gardens, which were far from Jaw Dropping... we saw much more gorgeous scenery elsewhere. There was no folk music in Penzance, would have loved that.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Salisbury Cathedral, Dover, Tintagel,The Mary Rose in Portsmouth, Mt. Michael's Mount was beyond "wow.""

Jan

Moorpark, CA

Tour: 06/12/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had the most wonderful time on this tour. From the castles and cathedrals to the wild ponies in Dartmoor and the beautiful beaches & fishing villages, I loved it all! Our tour companions were intelligent, considerate and fun to be around. Our tour guide was excellent as was Ben our coach driver. The food was good and we were very lucky to have mostly blue skies and sunny weather! Opened my umbrella once. Punting on the river in Canterbury was so fun! Fun adventures every day.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lots of wow moments. St. Michael's Mont, Tintagel, Beachy Head hike in the wind and the fog, walking among wild ponies, being in Port Issac (aka Port Wenn to Doc Martin fans)."

Donald

Sequim, WA

Tour: 06/12/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a great time. Good group size.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The baptismal font in Salisbury Cathedral with it's flowing water and very flat water like a mirror showing the reflections of the stained glass windows of the Cathedral was "wow"."

Sharon

Salem, OR

Tour: 06/12/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My thanks to all for a wonderful tour of Villages of South England. It was jam-packed with fun and what a history lesson. Our guide Tom was amazing. So knowledgeable and what great people skills. He took excellent care of each and everyone and encouraged us to mingle and make new friends, as we all did. The choices of villages, hotels and venues was outstanding. I could have never seen 1/10th of these things if I planned the trip for a year.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The tour on Victory, the battle ship that Lord Nelson commanded in the battle of Trafalgar. I was so taken with the entire experience I have talked about it over and over with friends and family. It was so unexpected too which made it more meaningful to me."

Cary

Santa Cruz, CA

Tour: 05/29/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour group was relaxed and approachable making for good traveling companions. Inherent logistical problem with driving a large coach and touring small villages...I mentioned Chagford below...Lyme Regis is another village we had to passby- not on the itinary but would not be possible to get to because of narrow lanes and large coach. Louise the coach driver was extraordinary in manuvering the smaller roadways.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"South Downs Beechy Head walk St. Ives - museums especially the Hepworth sculpture garden and strolling the serpentine streets. Chagford was my idea of a village and the 3 mile hike around the perimeter of the village was very enjoyable. Most of the other stops/stay overs were more mid-sized towns."

Linda

Sequim, WA

Tour: 05/29/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Lovely scenery. Quiet villages. Winding B roads with a big bus, so we went forwards and backwards! Excellent driver and very well informed guide who went the extra mile by her own volition. Interesting places - brought home a photo of Doc Martin's front door - nice surprise side trip. Nice variety of places and things to do. Nice timing of each busy day. My first RS tour and it was Very Good.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Stones lined up on Dartmoor in the most wind and rain I've ever been in, trying to hear the guide while wind was howling, blowing sideways, and rain was soaking every bit of us not covered by a rain jacket. Amazing that so many went in the storm just to learn more."

Doris

Santa Cruz, CA

Tour: 05/29/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

t Gillian, our guide, was knowledgeable, informative, helpful, generous and charming. The tour group members were mostly experienced and friendly travelers. Churches, cathedrals, scenery were all impressive and interesting. Bus was comfortable and driver was excellent. Particularly enjoyed the longer hikes.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"South Downs Way's Beachy Head! Harbor town of St. Ives is beautiful and charming. William, the local guide, taking us through Canterbury Cathedral. Stunning. Salisbury Cathedral. Incredible."

Lauren

Anderson Island, WA

Tour: 05/29/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first group tour, after fairly extensive traveling doing our own planning. If I still had the desire to plan, I would. But now I'm content to have everything planned for me. While I initially questioned how interesting/fun a few of the stops would be, I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed them. Every hotel was nice, the pace was fine, there was flexibility for those not wishing to do certain parts, and our guide, Gillian, was incredible.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Everything Cornwall by the water."

Annette

Tucson, AZ

Tour: 05/29/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I really enjoyed this tour. It's perfect in conjunction with the Best of England tour. Now you get to see the whole country.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Perhaps surprisingly, it was the afternoon at Beachy Head. The sun was shining, the sea was blue. It was a magical afternoon."

Donna

Las Cruces, NM

Tour: 05/29/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Cornwall has been a dream destination of mine for years. Plus, I tend to like smaller towns. So this tour was perfect for me. There was a very nice mix of cathedrals (two biggies: Canterbury and Salisbury), museums (Roman museum in Canterbury and the Geevor Tin Mine and the Salisbury Museum), coastline, history, and (important to me) geology.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was constantly saying "wow," so it's hard to pick one. I was impressed with the Geevor Tin Mine because they told the story of the miners and the (to me) totally unnecessary shutdown of tin mining because of poor business decisions and government interference. What a hard way to make a living, and what a sudden and devastating blow the closing of the mines was."

Tom

San Marino, CA

Tour: 05/22/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my second Rick Steves Tour, which also met and exceeded my expectations. The tour of the Villages of Southern England was charming, historically significant and surprising. Through the personal experience and knowledge of our tour leader we were able to build a timeline of understanding of how the English people came to be, their history and evolution. Mark grew up in Devon which helped personalize our experience and gave us insight into its culture.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The visit to the "Mary Rose" at the Portsmouth Shipyard was impressive due to its archeological significance and its resurrection. Stonehenge as always is impressive. Of equal "wow" were the "Seven Sisters of Chalk" on the Dover coastline. Again archeological history on display. This in no way diminishes the "wow" factors of all the other tour sites we visited."

Marlene

Madison, WI

Tour: 05/22/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I thoroughly enjoyed my first experience as part of a tour. I understand when dealing with a group of people everything planned can not appeal to everyone. I was really interested in the visits to the castles and the villages. Cornwall, the moors, places I had read about or seen on TV were particularly fun to see in person. British history has always fascinated me. The stainless glass, brewery tour, and pasty presentations were not really my thing.

Elayne

San Marino, CA

Tour: 05/22/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Villages of South England Tour was a lovely tour. The weather cooperated 98% of the time! The cathedrals were beautiful and it was an experience walking across the moors. I enjoyed meeting all the people in the group. We met as strangers and left the tour as friends.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment was climbing the steep hill at Beachy Head and turning around and catching my first glimpse of the White Cliffs. The sun was shining, the wind was blowing,and the sheer magnificence of the cliffs took my breath away!"

John

Everett, WA

Tour: 05/22/17

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Great villages, churches and castles. Overall, I highly recommend this tour! This was a very physical RS tour. I expected some challenges, but did not like the hike up to the hotel in Dartmoor with our luggage, nor the hill up to the hotel in Penzence. Even without luggage that one was a bit too much at the end of the tour. All in all, we will be back for another Rick Steve's Adventure with lighter luggage!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Stain Glass work shop was my favorite! I would have loved to see a Stone Masons work shop somewhere along the tour. Second Wow was Dartmoor National Park."

Lorna

Ft Myers, FL

Tour: 05/22/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour gives a wonderful blend of "wow" sights while traveling through quaint villages with lots of character. We had experiences that would not have been possible on our own, such as Cornish pasty making in a tiny pasty shop in Cornwall and seeing how medieval glass is preserved in Canterbury Cathedral. I am a Brit who grew up in England and moved to the United States, coming back and taking this trip was a reminder of how gorgeous this tiny country is.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many beautiful experiences on this tour and lots of "wows". The stunning view of the white chalk cliffs at Beachy Head after an invigorating hike up to the lighthouse, breathtaking Salisbury Cathedral, the wild beauty of Dartmoor National Park, climbing up to St. Michael's Mount in Cornwall and looking down onto the gorgeous colorful terraced gardens. These are just a few of the special moments we had."

Robert

Dudley, MA

Tour: 05/22/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

What I expect from.a Rick Steves tour. Very active, filled with adventure and lessons on history and architecture. Awesome tour leaders and great value. Loved the surprises along the way, including a demonstration of sheep herding with Kenny and Max. Great transportation and overall, good hotels.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lots of them, but Dartmoor National Park with our local guide Tom was awesome. So much history and beautiful scenery. Animals everywhere and great stories being told. A magical day."

Charlene

San Francisco, CA

Tour: 05/22/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first "tour" vacation and I loved it. It was everything that it said it would be and more. Every day was planned to perfection. It was called a "moderately active" tour but at times seemed more strenuous than moderate. I had to remind myself that this is what I signed up for. No lounging around sipping coffee and reading for an afternoon. Plenty of time to do that when I got home!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My WOW moment changed from day to day but now having been home for awhile I would have to say the moors of Dartmoor. I found them to be magical/mythical and spiritual all in one. The stone paths and walkways, the ponies and just beauty of the moors will, I believe, stay with me always."

Linda

Dudley, MA

Tour: 05/22/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The title of the Jack Nicholson movie "As good as it gets" is a perfect phrase for our tour! In my humble opinion, the guide can make or break the tour and our guide, Mark was and is the best tour guide we have ever had. Venus must have aligned with Mars because everything was in sync on this tour. With the hundreds of photos I captured, I am still reliving this tour and all the wonderful memories.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Difficult question as there were so many "wow" moments. Checking off the bucket list after seeing Stonehenge, Canterbury Cathedral, and Salisbury Cathedral. Love archaeology and walking the history trail of the castles, Dover, Pevensey, Corfe etc. was just thrilling."

Rod

Colorado Springs, CO

Tour: 05/22/17

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

After going on a 2012 tour of Ireland with Pat, and 2015 with Carlos, I was a bit underwhelmed by the latest tour of Villages of Southern England with Mark. It seemed at times that he was making up the history of England and the Middle Ages as we went along; e.g., assigning the term Dark Ages as a result of the color of the soil as mankind lived and worked upon it. Too many tour stops of "three hours to wander around here."

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The guided tour of Salisbury Cathedral; especially aster the disappointment with our guide in the Canterbury Cathedral."

Webber

Ft Myers, FL

Tour: 05/22/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent tour schedule and experiences. Mark was excellent as a tour leader was very open to all. Very good cohesiveness within the group of travelers. Locations of stay were very good excels the final stay in Bath.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Making pasties in Cornwall and eating them afterward."

Lori Anne

Vancouver, BC

Tour: 05/15/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had an amazing time on this tour. Roy was a wonderful! He is so informed, kind, easy to get along with, caring and the 2 times I had trouble, he took care of my situation. The other tour members were friendly and interested in everything that we did. I was amazed that there were only 3 people who had never been on a Rick Steves tour before! The bus driver, Louise, did an amazing job negotiating the narrow roads! I fell in love with the South of England!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Being on the Dartmoors with Tom giving us an in-depth tour and feeling like history had come alive. I could "see" the Bronze Age people living on the land and connecting with the stars, the moon and the sun! It was a remarkable time on a truly historic pice of land!"

Damon

San Anselmo, CA

Tour: 05/15/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our overall tour experience was excellent. Roy was a splendid guide -- informed, funny, humane -- and the scenery and people of southern England were all delightful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Several. They include: Walking on Dartmoor. wild, windswept, beautiful, yet home to thousands of years of history and pre-history. Evening vespers in Canterbury Cathedral, with the men and boys choir singing. Walking into Salisbury Cathedral and getting the full weight of the gothic experience. Tintagel, overlooking sweeping coast and sea vistas."

Rebecca

Murfreesboro, TN

Tour: 05/15/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A typical Rick Steves tour, which means that every day was "the best day ever"! Our guide, Roy, was fabulous, and all the places we visited were amazing in their own way. Lodgings were good, and food amazing. I learned so much and enjoyed our fellow travelers. I saw places that I would never have known to visit, and saw such amazing beauty, as well as learning so much about England's history and culture.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"As always, it is really difficult to limit this to a single moment. I really loved Canterbury and Salisbury, and I was really taken with Dartmoor and Rye. But I must say that all our visits were amazing."

Robert

New York, NY

Tour: 05/15/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 10th RS tour and it was action packed from start to finish. The settings were Idyllic and stunning. In Canterbury we were literally housed within "the close" and had the cathedral to ourselves through the night. What a view to wake up to! Salisbury was a serene town as was our beautiful accommodations on the river. We also had a great tour group, kind and generous in nature and a terrific tour guide in Roy! He brought the history and uniqueness of each town to life for us!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many to choose from as each town was unique and special in each way. We enjoyed the stain glass restoration class very much in Canterbury, the views at Dover and Beachy Head, Evensong in Salisbury and seeing one of the original copies of the Magna Carta after the cathedral tour. We really loved meeting Marian in Cornwall and hearing her life story while learning to make our own pasty. The entire tour was a WOW for us as each stop truly contributed to the overall experience."

Katherine

Orono, ME

Tour: 05/15/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a wonderful opportunity to experience small-town England. I enjoyed every single stop, and hardly heard any other American accents! Rye was beautiful; Chagford is a real gem; Dartmoor was wild and beautiful. Salisbury is the most perfect of cathedrals. Making Cornish pasties with Marion was a treat, as was the visit to St. Austell.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Serendipitous wow moments: hearing the bell ringers practicing in Chagford; seeing swans at our hotel in Salisbury; fireworks in Penzance. On the tour, it was hard to choose a favorite but I guess it would be the wild prehistoric landscapes of Dartmoor."

Janet

San Anselmo, CA

Tour: 05/15/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Since this was our first Rick Steves' tour, we did not embark on the journey with pre-conceived ideas about being part of a tour group. Overall, we had a wonderful trip, enjoying the variety of activities, sights, and history that were included. This particular trip held special meaning for me as I lived in Dorset which was one area included in the itinerary, and I know the Devon area as well. We traveled with special friends which provided a level of comfort about being in a group of strangers.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The awe-inspiring majesty of Salisbury Cathedral, the extraordinary beauty of Devon's Dartmoor, the magnificent Jurassic Coast, the magical St. Michael's Mount, the mystery of Tintagel, and the incomparable beauty of the English countryside."

Mary

Fort Worth, TX

Tour: 05/15/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My 10th trip with Rick Steves was another winner. Roy, our guide, was exceptional. So knowledgeable and organized. The cities and towns we visited were delightful. Our little tour group family became friends. Truly enjoyable trip!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The walk on the Dartmoor National Park with its sweeping vistas and glimpses of the Dartmoor ponies and ancient ruins with the mysterious energy was truly memorable. I also was amazed and delighted to be able to see St Michaels Mount. I loved that this site was a family home with so many personal artifacts and a personally written guidebook by the owner"

Barbara

Fort Dodge, IA

Tour: 05/15/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour entertained and educated us about some of the history, art and culture of England. Each day included an organized collection of sites to visit, with the highlights of each place explained by our knowledgeable and witty guide, Roy, or a local expert. I enjoyed socializing with the others on the tour and there were opportunities to visit with English citizens, as well.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many "wows." It would be hard to top the experience of going through the Secret Wartime Tunnels near Dover Castle and learning the crucial role they played in multiple conflicts. There's nothing like actually standing in a historic place to try to feel the tension, fear and resolve the English experienced when foes threatened. Many in the tour group added helpful commentary in addition to the stories related by our guide and the tunnel guides."

Mark

Fort Dodge, IA

Tour: 05/15/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Dartmour Nat Park"

Linda

San Anselmo, CA

Tour: 05/15/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Being that this was our 9th RS Tour, we obviously love the experience and this tour did not disappoint. We loved the gorgeous English countryside and coast, the magnificent Canterbury and Salisbury Cathedrals, the comraderie of the group members and the expert, but oh so fun leadership of Roy, our guide. Everyday brought a wonderful adventure and with it knowledge of a beautiful part of the continent.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is so difficult to answer with just one "wow." I loved walking on Dartmoor, across the causeway to St. Michael's Mount and on the gorgeous beaches. There were some lovely surprises for me, as well. Waking up in the morning and facing the majestic Canterbury Cathedral, walking outside of our room to swans on the river, stumbling upon bell ringers in the church in Chagford, fireworks seen from our room in Penzance, and the spectacular weather we had all added to a very memorable time for me."

Barbara

Carlsbad, CA

Tour: 05/15/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

In Canterbury we learned about the making of this marvelous church and the stained glass, in particular. From here we proceeded to learn about the beautiful spots that dot the coast of England. The highlight for me was Cornwall, going out to St Michael's Mount and later exploring Tintagel. I just loved all the little quips of information that out guide Roy imparted as we drove about. Speaking of driving, Louise was an absolute master at navigating the narrow roads.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think the most 'wow' moment was standing on the cliffs of Dover looking over to France and thinking about how close it came that they could have been overrun by the Germans."

Karen

Logan, UT

Tour: 05/08/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was the fifth tour (3rd with RS)that I have taken and by far the best! Gullian was the outstanding factor; always cheerful, helpful and very informative, good insights and a great deal of information about our tour sites and the surrounding area. Good insight into the people, not afraid to discuss issues, open-minded. I can't say enough good things about her! Every stop interesting, easy traveling but great information always!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to mention; Portsmouth & Dartmoor (great local guide) were great; preparing Cornish Pasties (yum) all very interesting. Castle ruins and the castle in the bay at Penzance. Every day was great!"

Robert

Manchester, CT

Tour: 05/08/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was outstanding. It was great to have an in-depth exposure to southern England including the history and culture. The tour group got along well, and the amount of bus time was not excessive.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking along the cliffs at Beachy Head. As we gazed at the ocean horizon, I felt myself wondering how ancient peoples could have seen this vista and believed that the earth was flat."

Lisa

Braintree, MA

Tour: 05/08/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was good overall. The places visited real gave one a feeling of the English country side visited. I liked the Geevor Tin Mines it was informative in how the mine worked and how the miners lived. I enjoyed Portsmouth and the historic ships and how the sailors lived on the ships. Stonehenge was interesting I was there 37 years ago and can see the difference with the set up of the information center and I do not remember it being are crowd before.But worth the visit.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I liked the White Cliffs Of Dover and Beachy. The scenery was beautiful"

Paul

Seattle, WA

Tour: 05/08/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent guide. Helpful, informative, entertaining, cheerful. Very good itinerary. It crams a lot of interesting material into the available time. Quite fun to see the differences between the South-East and the South-West. Both areas are fun, but for different reasons. Fun group of travelers. Enjoyed their company.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The tunnels at Dover Castle were fascinating. Interesting subject very well presented. But there were 2 things I enjoyed even more. My favorite was the visit to the stained glass shop at Canterbury Cathedral. It was very fun to see professionals at work. Also to hear about all the complications that go with working to restore windows that are 100's of years old. 2nd favorite was the pasty cooking experience. I always love the cooking classes on tours. This was fun and tasty."

David

Ellicott City, MD

Tour: 05/08/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Outstanding tour. Great sights, great opportunities to meet people locally and as always time to do things on our own (not "over planned". Would have liked more time at the Naval museum in Plymouth but that's my personal preference and not reflective of the overall quality of the tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"- The stained glass presentation at Canterbury Cathedral - The tour of the tin mine in Cornwall - Making our own pasty's in Cornwall - Walking around the ruins on the moor in a driving rain (yes, sounds bad it was actually a great experience). The common theme of all of these were local individuals or guides who were clearly engaged and enthusiastic. Also - seeing the Mary Rose and Victory in Portsmouth."

Kathleen

Seattle, WA

Tour: 05/08/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Gillian is one of the best guides we have ever had. She made the trip fun, interesting and informative. I really liked being out in more of the countryside and I was impressed with the beauty of the beaches and headlands.I was really taken with the tour of the control center in Dover for the evacuation of Dunkirk.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I was really taken by the tour of the control center in Dover for the evacuation of Dunkirk."

Michael

Vashon, WA

Tour: 05/08/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Goodnestone Park Gardens was one of the reasons we booked this tour, yet despite a change in itinerary, which eliminated this part of the tour, the entire tour was as advertised. We had a fun and knowledgable tour guide who had a great sense of humor. We found the tour to be very educational.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our visit to St. Michael's Mount"

Albert

Salinas, CA

Tour: 05/08/17

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Gillian is an excellent guide. Lodging was good. Bus driver Ian was great. Great group of fellow travelers.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Salisbury Cathedral was closed to the public in the evening. We attended a baptism and confirmation service. The church was packed with locals. Standing room only. We were the only pilgrims. An usher slipped us in a side door and even invited us to the reception. Three bishops. About six teens baptized and about thirty confirmed including one elderly gentleman. I thought the Church was dead in England. I felt the presence of the Holy Spirit that night. The Church is still alive."

Stacy

Grants Pass, OR

Tour: 09/12/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I wasn't sure what to expect on this tour, but was open to a new experience. I thought the tour was thoughtfully planned out. The tour kept us moving, sightseeing and visiting interesting places. It was fast paced, but not too fast where it was exhausting. There was a nice balance of structured time and free time. i appreciate how many places and sites that I was able to see in a couple of weeks, without this structure, I don't think I would have seen as much on my own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were wow moments from place to place. When I talk about a building being old in the States, it certainly has nothing on what is considered old in the villages we visited. I loved the cathedrals, castles, churches and buildings in all of the small villages. The skill of the builders and length of time it took to build these places is incredible. I still enjoy looking at my photos and am amazed at all of England's beauty. The White Cliffs of Dover are unbelievable."

Rebecca

Central Point, OR

Tour: 09/12/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Of the European countries that I have visited so far, England is the most beautiful. Our tour guide was outstanding and interacted with the tour members often. At first the words strenuous worried me a bit, but I enjoyed it and it kept me in shape while traveling. Wonderful group of people on our tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Climbing up to and through the castle ruins."

Adeline

Barrie, ON

Tour: 09/12/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I long wanted to see so many of the places we visitied, particularly Beachy Head and Cornwall. But, as usual for a Rick Steves tour, there were so many more, like Canterbury and Dartmoor. A great guide, super food, often scenic and comfortable lodgings, local guides who added impassioned and knowledgeable perspectives, and a sense of comradery among tour members made this another memorable and highly enjoyable tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Always hard to pick just one but I would have to say Dartmoor. What I thought would be a just a hike on a moor, was instead a visit to what seemed to me an almost sacred site. I was in awe of the ancient civilizations that had lived there. To be sure there were beautiful landscapes, lots of ponies and sheep, and an amazing sheep dog demonstration, but walking among the many stone circles and monuments and imagining the people who lived there so long ago was very moving."

Robert

Charlottesville, VA

Tour: 09/12/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful tour of very scenic and historic parts of England.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hearing a congregation sing "God Save the Queen" in Salisbury Cathedral. We just happened to be in a nearby chapel while a graduation was going on."

Eric

Burr Ridge, IL

Tour: 09/12/16

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

The tour itinerary was excellent. The places visited were well chosen and balanced in their points of interest and requirements for physical exertion. Regretably the trip itinerary required extensive travel beforehand on public transportation with which we were basically unfamiliar, especially at the front end after arriving on an overnight flight from the USA. This is a major negative with the Rick Steves programs and will give us some pause to embark on another in the near future.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"As we say above, the trip was well balanced so WOW moments were not really a part of the program as we saw it. We did like Salisbury and Stone Henge and the castle at Penzance in particular. Bath was fun to see from a distance but that's about all we could do there, so short was our stay."

Thomas

Wake Forest, NC

Tour: 09/12/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a great tour. It was well paced and covered such a wide range. This would include the cathedrals, the next day there would be castles as well as World War II tunnels, then breweries, cooking pasties, Dartmoor and cliffs and views wherever you look and more. I always try and compare other tours that I have taken. I am still not sure if this was my favorite, but if not it is right up there.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"On a tour with so many great moments I would have to say that Tintagel Castle was my favorite. The day was spectacular and the views were just incredible. Combine this with the "Arthur" story it just felt special. I also loved Dartmoor and St Michaels Mount and seeing Salisbury Cathedral at night."

Nancy

Denver, CO

Tour: 09/12/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fantastic

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Dartmoor"

Kimberly

Pompano Beach, FL

Tour: 09/12/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

very well run and organized. Everyone felt safe, enjoyed themselves and felt like a team. Tom our tour guide and Ben our Driver made the trip amazing and are wonderful at their jobs.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"just knowing we were visiting and standing on things built so long ago was hard to believe. the Castles and Cathedrals"

Andi

Franktown, CO

Tour: 09/12/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

There aren't enough superlatives in my vocabulary to express how wonderful this new (to RS) tour was for me. I absolutely loved everything about it and since I have spent a significant amount of time in the "big cities" of Europe, I would personally LOVE to see more of these smaller, village focused tours. I think there would be a good (lucrative!) market for them again. Especially since so many of us have already taken a goodly number of your tours!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The entire tour was one WOW after another.The view of Canterbury Cathedral from the window of my room at the Lodge at night,views of the sea and cliffs from anywhere in Cornwall;St Michael's Mount,watching a sheepdog doing his job,exploring the tin mine,Canterbury Cathedral,the small churches in Rye and other small villages, walking across stone slab bridges and among standing stones and circles in Dartmoor.The opportunities to spend time in the local pubs with the locals.The brewery tour....."

Nanette

Marysville, WA

Tour: 09/12/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Days were packed with delightful experiences; even bathroom stops turned into a moment to see a memorial for WWII pilots, a opportunity to walk on a local beach, and a visit to a church who's steeple was too heavy to be placed on church, located next to building. EVERY moment was utilized, then we would have our own time to self explore.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The combined Pasty making day and then sitting at the Geevor Tin Mine picnic tables in the glorious sunshine eating our still warm pasty, enjoying our beer from the previous day's ST. Austell brewery visit, waiting for our mine tour."

Marilyn

San Diego, CA

Tour: 09/12/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was full and busy every day, I loved that, different places and experiences. We did things I don't think would have been available to independent travelers such as pasty making and sheep herding demonstration. I enjoyed the active days.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many, which are different now in memory. Walking on the green hills at Beachy Head."

Linda

Shelton, WA

Tour: 09/12/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful tour. Reunited with Tom (from London trip last year). Tom's enthusiasm, humor and love of country is unparalleled. The south coast is fantastic. The local guides were equally fun. We even got a surprise sheepdog demonstration.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Tintagel without a doubt. And I could live in Cornwall. If a certain individual who shall not be named is elected, please deport me to this wonderful place. Hills and steps! Oh my."

Joseph

Ridgewood, NY

Tour: 09/05/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I find travelling with like minded people to be a wonderful experience. The thing that amazes me is the pace that is set for the tour. I experienced way more than I could have possibly hoped for had I traveled on my own. Yet the pace is such that you do not burn out. It is a delicate combination that RS seems to have figured out.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This goes way beyond WOW. I attended Evensong at Canterbury Cathedral and was left breathless listening to the combination of organ and voices in such a special place.. After one particular moving piece, I found tears running down my face. As soon as the piece finished, the choir director turned and looked straight at me and just nodded. All I could do was nod back. I was amazed how the place, the music, the company made the rest of the world disappear for a while.. Like I said, beyond WOW."

Yvonne

Lake Oswego, OR

Tour: 09/05/16

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

As veterans of nine Rick Steves' tours to date, we would say that this particular tour rated somewhere between very good and outstanding. It was a very well-designed tour in terms of the pacing: 3 nights, 1 night, 2 nights, 2 nights, 3 nights, and 1 night. It involved an excellent selection of sites visited. Our guide was outstanding. There were a few times when we wished that less time had been devoted to one outing and more to another, but that is somewhat a matter of opinion.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For us it was a toss-up between the fabulous Mary Rose Museum in Portsmouth and Stonehenge. Next to the Louvre, the Prado, etc., I have never seen a museum as incredibly well-presented as the Mary Rose. It is an accomplishment of display that truly blew my mind. Meanwhile, Stonehenge was far more moving in person than we had ever imagined. There is a transcendent, mystical quality about it that does not come across in photographs."

Lynn

Edmonds, WA

Tour: 09/05/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Villages of Southern England is a delightful tour. Gillian was a joy to travel with and a wealth of information. She really cared what we thought and fit a visit to Land's End into the agenda because we really wanted to see it since we were so close by. This trip included a diverse variety of experiences...kind of something for everyone. There was scenery and cathedrals, castle ruins and sheep dogs, history and pasties, charming villages and gardens...

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My top three experiences were St Michael's Mount, the walk along the chalk cliffs at Beachy Head, and the views from Tintagal... although It was tough to list just 3!"

Doug

Edmonds, WA

Tour: 09/05/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Another outstanding tour! Our tour guide, Gillian, was awesome. I appreciated her ability to make the history and culture of Southern England come alive through her story telling. The travel agenda gave us a nice blend of castles, cathedrals, spectacular scenery, points of interest, and delicious food. Our accommodations were comfortable and located conveniently for the planned daily activities. We appreciated several of the hotels providing fans during warm weather.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting the white caulk cliffs of Beachy Head, the amazing remains of Henry VIII's war ship, The Mary Rose, and the spectacular views from Tintagel Castle were my "wow" moments. The visit to The Battle of Britain Memorial atop the White Cliffs of Dover was very inspirational and thought provoking."

Sandra

Los Angeles, CA

Tour: 09/05/16

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Very much a learning experience historically

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing how tourism has increased in little towns"

Randolph

Burbank, CA

Tour: 09/05/16

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Very interesting and enlightening

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing Canterbury cathebrali"

Cheryl

Andover, MA

Tour: 09/05/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a great group of people, a wonderful tour guide and an excellent bus driver. In addition to the usual tourist sites, there were things not included on most other tours. I will be taking other Rick Steves tours in the future!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's hard to pick out a single moment. I had been wanting to see the Dover secret wartime tunnels for years, so that was one of the highlights for me. I also really loved learning how to make a Cornish pasty and how to recognize a proper one. There were so many castles, towers, ancient sites and beautiful views."

Robert

St Augustine, FL

Tour: 09/05/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great views and itinerary. Really enjoyed it all---well, everything except the visit to the gardens early in the trip. It had already faded for the season.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite was the night view of Canterbury Cathedral from our room at the Lodge. Really, everything was enjoyable."

Richard

Andover, MA

Tour: 09/05/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was everything I was hoping for. Wonderful guide, great travel companions, gorgeous scenery, history, castles, museums, great food and drink.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Impossible to list a single wow. Dartmoor, Beachy Head, Dover Castle complex, the view from our room at Hotel Penzance, the Mary Rose all had wow factor."

Claudia

Ridgewood, NY

Tour: 09/05/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I very much enjoyed seeing a part of England that I hadn't in two previous trips to the UK. I am very interested in history, and this tour provided all I could want and then some. The countryside we rode through was lovely, and our fellow tour members added to the overall terrific experience. A great tour that I highly recommend.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have several. Evensong in Canterbury and Salisbury Cathedrals; seeing part of the Mary Rose at the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, and its presentation there; Stonehenge; the view of St. Michael's Mount from our hotel in Penzance. One that wasn't part of the tour was seeing a performance at the Minack Theatre, which I would highly recommend!"

Joyce

Ithaca, NY

Tour: 08/15/16

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I enjoyed the variety of experiences traveling through the south of England including gardens, Cathedrals, historic ships, quaint villages, castles in various stages of repair, beautiful Dartmoor National Park with the purple heather and yellow gorse in full bloom, standing stones and sheep herding in Dartmoor, Stonehenge, white cliffs, cream tea, plowman's lunches, making pasties and then eating them while still warm from the oven, visiting a tin mine and getting to walk through part of one.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The breathtaking view of Canterbury Cathedral from our room window at Canterbury Cathedral Lodge was my first "wow". It was also special coming back to the lodge after being in town in the evening. We had to enter the enclosed grounds through giant ancient wooden doors. Seeing the Cathedral lit up at night was awe inspiring. The natural beauty of Dartmoor with blooming heather and gorse was another "wow"!"

Cathy

Montrose, CO

Tour: 08/15/16

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We had a marvelous time! It was obvious that this tour was a new itinerary. The walking and activity level was much higher than advertised. It wasn't a problem for most but it was for some. I was noticing in the new tour brochure that the activity level has changed to a more accurate reflection of the tour. The tour was lacking free time and the exploration that sometimes occurs on the established tours. Nice to have some time to ramble.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"View from Tintagel was amazing. The ocean, the ruins. Love Ian the bus driver! He makes every trip so special. He adds to the cohesion of the group by his candor and honest interaction. He is special. Our group got along well and that is such a factor in creating a good time."

Lynda

Birmingham, AL

Tour: 08/15/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We thoroughly enjoyed the Villages of South England tour. Four years ago we participated in the Best of England tour and wished we could see more of England, particularly the southern coastal areas. This tour perfectly fit the interest. The village tours offered by RS are our favorites because of the character of the villages, slower pace of life there, charm of the lodgings and the food.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to name - the Cliffs of Dover, Wartime Tunnels at Dover Castle, Geevor Tin Mine tour, and the cathedrals of Canterbury and Salisbury. Making our own pasties in Cornwall and hearing the inspirational story of the baker was a high point. In Dartmoor, our local guide expertly guided us around the moors and introduced us to the long history of the early people. Watching Matt, the border colli, round up sheep was a WOW!!"

Robert

Lexington, KY

Tour: 08/15/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Better than I expected. Well planned and executed. This is not a tour or a vacation; this is an adventure! Bus rides were not too long (Ian was a excellent driver), and most of the rest stops included something worthwhile to see. Itinerary was perfect with adequate time at each stop, for the most part. Good mix of sites. I came away feeling like I've had an incredible experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The countryside of Devon and Cornwall. Genuinely beautiful."

Carol

Lexington, KY

Tour: 08/15/16

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I thought this tour offered a very comprehensive exposure to the history, geology, culture and people of the southern coastal region of England. I came away feeling that I had absorbed a lot of information in a way that was exhilarating. I never felt bogged down by the amount of information that I received. I felt there was a real attempt to expose us to a variety of experiences from stone circles, to the moors in bloom, to cathedrals and castles and the crashing coastline. Thanks!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The outstanding countryside in Devon and Cornwall! My husband and I had our noses glued to the bus window. Plus the farmer with his dog herding sheep!!"

Corey

Grantsville, UT

Tour: 08/15/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The variety of these two weeks was quite fulfilling. My thanks to everyone in the Rick Steves organization who worked so hard to make it special in dozens of ways. Even the bus driver became a critical part of this learning endeavor. What a professional and on very narrow roads.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so very many high points. I've castles and cathedrals and I got my fill of these monuments. I also enjoyed the moors, the tin mine, the sheep dog demonstration and the personal concert. I have long been fascinated by stone circles and we experienced two of them, including the grandest of them all. Local guide Tom, was perfect for the circles. This tour was chock full of surprises and delights. Brexit is now more understandable. Over and over again I was pleased beyond measure."

Betsy

Monrovia, CA

Tour: 08/01/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

this was a very different type of tour. Often for the locations, we got an overview of the history but were then let loose on our own to explore whatever we wanted in the property. That was really nice.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Mine was the Henry the VIII's Mary Rose-a ship that was about 500 years old that had been raised from the deep--in the Portsmouth Historic Shipyard.Followed by Tintagel Castle in Cornwall."

Kathy

Chatham, ON

Tour: 08/01/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I so loved this tour. It was wonderful. It was close to perfection! I felt so comfortable being on my own and also hanging out with the group. Gillian was a superb guide. She is an absolute gem.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favourite were all the wonderful walks- along the cliffs at Beachy Head, scrambling up the steps of Saint Michael's Mount, walking amongst the ruins of Corfe Castle and Tintagel Castle and the wonderful walk in Dartmoor National Park. Who knew that I was an outdoorsy gal at heart? Certainly not me!!!"

Susan

Racine, WI

Tour: 08/01/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first guided tour ever. Great introduction! I'd consider doing more tours with you.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The view from the coach looking over the moors. I'm going to try to make a quilt showing all the shades of green, animals, etc."

Katie Marie

Merritt Island, FL

Tour: 08/01/16

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

A 13 visit to the villages in South England. This was my first guided tour, as well as my first visit overseas. I accompanied my Aunt who is an experienced independent traveler, and for who this was her second Rick Steve's tour. There were a variety of experiences in the tour which highlighted local culture and historical significance.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The visit to Tintagel castle was a wonderful way to end the tour, a d the visit to Merlin's cave was definitely a highlight. I liked how many of the castle tours and walking experiences lead up to the "big one" at the end."

Emma

Columbus, WI

Tour: 08/01/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Gillian was an awesome tour guide! She obviously did her homework about the area. Everything was so well organized. The buddy system really worked well. There was so much packed in a short time, but we still had free time to explore, shop, or just hand out. This was my first Rick Steves tour, but I would seriously consider doing another one. The hotels we all great. I would never have found any of them on my own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Being in Cornwall where my ancestors were born."

Caroline

Austin, TX

Tour: 08/01/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A mix of activities and trips to gain a favor of life and history across south England. There were meals in small and large groups, walks in Beachy Head and Dover, free exploration time at Tintagal and Hastings and Dover Castle, field trips to Portreath bakery and St. Anstell brewery, celebrations (Red Arrows in Falmouth) and museums in Plymouth. Loved it all.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Looking out of my room the first afternoon and seeing Canterbury Cathedral. I came especially to see Gothic cathedrals and Canterbury and Salisbury were special. Gillian gave guided tours of the grounds and towns, local guides explained the history of the cathedrals. It was special to see the glass workers at Canterbury."

Pamela

Renton, WA

Tour: 08/01/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my husband's & my 10th Rick Steves' tour. We had never been to England before and now we can't wait to go back! We loved the smaller villages and the beautiful country scenery. Going to Stonehenge was on my "bucket list" so I got to cross that off. Stonehenge was awesome but the rest of the trip was even better. The people of England were so friendly and pleasant. Gillian was absolutely "Delightful" !! We had such a great experience that there will be more tours with Rick Steves'!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many WOW moments ! I loved the evening in Alfriston - We had the best Roast Beef dinner and my first ever Sticky Toffee Pudding !! YUMMY!!! My favorite thing was hearing the folksinging and the English Country songs. Great entertainment just for us!! Another Wow moment was the windy hike at Breath Taking Beachy Head with a fun picnic Happy Hour! We were also in Falmouth at the right time ! They had a Festival going on and the Red Arrows performed right over our Hotel - WOW!!"

Judith

Stony Brook, NY

Tour: 07/18/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The trip was wonderful. The members of our group were friendly, smart, interesting and kind. We got along nicely. The weather mostly cooperated. Our tour guide was fantastic. We went to great places and learned so much. Rick Steves is the only way to go.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sitting in the incredibly picturesque yard of our hotel room in Salisbury, contemplating the river and having a family of swans swim slowly by. Hiking along the edge of the cliffs at Beachy Head."

Robert

Stony Brook, NY

Tour: 07/18/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Once again, we had Tom as our guide, and once again, he was significantly beyond wonderful. We had wanted to see Cornwall with him, and we got our wish. Once again, we love the way Rick Steves tours work and the friendships that develop. After the tour was over, we stayed in London a few days and took a bus tour to Oxford and Highclere Castle. We enjoyed the day, but it wasn't the same as a Rick tour: 68 strangers on a bus, with zero bonding. We much prefer Rick's way.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"As to scenery, there were so many. But I particularly remember when we arrived at our hotel in Salisbury and stepped outside the rear door of our room. What lay before us was a gorgeous garden and river scene, with the spire of the Salisbury Cathedral. Another moment: Tom took us to Brookland, to see the odd triangular church steeple. But the wow moment was listening to some young students singing a delightful song about doing everything together. How did Tom and Rick arrange it?"

Phil

Anacortes, WA

Tour: 07/18/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We were delighted that you offered this new tour this year as we have been wanting to visit these areas in England. We enjoyed every day. It didn't seem like a new tour as all the stops were good or great and you gave us broad of wonderful experiences.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hiking on the Cornwall coast at Tingtagel Castle. With its steep rocky stairs it's a spectacular spot and by far the most rugged coastline that we were able to see. But I can't fail to mention the tours of Victory and the Mary Rose too. The British have done a spectacular job restoring them and it was a remarkabale experience touring them."

Carolynne

Anacortes, WA

Tour: 07/18/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

To stand where the Anglo-Saxon soldiers faced their enemies before the Battle of Hastings, to see an original copy of the Magna Carta, to stroll in a garden that Jane Austen had visited, and to listen to heavenly choral music in the perfect setting of Canterbury Cathedral was pure bliss.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"One ancient and one only 500 years old: experiencing the eerie quiet of Dartmoor and imagining what life might have been like for the Bronze Age settlers; walking into the darkened interior of the reconnstructed ship, the "Mary Rose" in Portsmouth--an amazing feat of preservation."

Geraldine

Bend, OR

Tour: 07/18/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything about our tour was great - the sights we saw, the tour members, guide, and driver!! Tom was very knowledgeable and included his great sense of humor in everything we did. We saw so many great sights and learned so much about the history and culture of England. The local guides were excellent as well

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many wow moments and one of those was seeing and learning about the stained glass conservation at the Canterbury Cathedral. They do an amazing job! Another "wow" was listening to the miner's son at the tin mine describe the size and depth of the mine and the danger and difficulty of the work. What a hard life!!"

Tom

Frederick, CO

Tour: 07/18/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was great. Good weather, good guide, nice things to see.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The walk along the white cliffs of Beachy Head was outstanding. The moors of Cornwall were very interesting. The day at Portsmouth was wonderful."

Karen

Frederick, CO

Tour: 07/18/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent tour, even though we had spent time in England before. Some changes for the worse--We saw Stonehenge 40 years ago on a cool, misty morning without another soul around; and we saw Land's End in similarly perfect conditions then. Still, this was a great approach to the English experience, seeing the villages along the south coast.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hiking along the cliffs above the sea at Beachy Head. Spectacular! Also enjoyed (to my surprise) crawling through the bowels of the earth at the tin mine."

Christine

Issaquah, WA

Tour: 07/18/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A wonderful tour leader with a wealth of information and a great sense of humor. Add a "chauffeur" extraordinary and a fun, positive, and interesting group of men and women. What more could you ask for? Hmmm...

Sharon

Gardnerville, NV

Tour: 07/11/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Villages of South England tour was an amazing study in contrasts from the English Channel towns, the wind swept Dartmoor tors and valleys, ancient history at Stonehenge, rocky Tintangel castle and making pasties in Cornwall. The tour was packed with interesting places and experiences.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking to St. Michael's Mount, climbing the stone path to the top and watching the sea bridge disappear. Dartmoor NP was also an amazing experience, a bit of wild history in the middle of civilized England. We loved all the villages"

Camille

Maple Valley, WA

Tour: 07/11/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Every day from dawn to dusk I knew I would have a fantastic day with so much to see, do and learn. I was with a fun group of people and it was a trip I will always remember and be grateful for.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"How about a hundred "wow" moments? Traveling through areas of childhood literature, soaking up the majesty of some magnificent cathedrals, understanding the power of the Magna Carta, fun dinners with new friends, the Cornish coast and Beach Head, steam engines, Dartmoor and ponies in the sunshine, the beauty and solitude that can be found in beautiful small villages, the gardens of Goodnestone and Trelissick, learning about Operation Dynamo from WWII and tin mining and so much more!"

Jacqueline

Richardson, TX

Tour: 07/11/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I signed up for this trip to see castles, cathedrals and coastal cities. I was not disappointed. The six hotels were each unique in their own fashion. Wild horses, rugged watery coastlines, fantastic food, delightful new friends – all were unexpected additions to a great experience. By staying mostly on the winding country lanes, we drove through the smaller towns, which was simply lovely. An additional plus: introducing my incredible daughter to the delights of England.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My WOW factor was the view of Salisbury Cathedral from our hotel window, complete with winding stream and a family of swans. Second to that was attending Evensong in the Cathedral, quietly inspirational. Then there was the small village of Chagford where we felt like residents because we were the only tour group in town! Another bonus was hearing organ music coming from St. Michael the Archangel church across from the hotel – preparations for an upcoming wedding celebration!"

John

Benton Harbor, MI

Tour: 07/11/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

All aspects of the tour were outstanding! Roy, our guide was phenomenal? He is a wealth of knowledge and brought the sights and villages to life with his enthusiasm! James, our driver did an awesome job maneuvering the tiny lanes and had a great sense of humor. Our other tour mates were kind, friendly, considerate and bonded quickly with our 2 young adult daughters. A variety of things to see and do: Catherdrals, gardens, castles, monuments, making pasties, wild horses, and beautiful scenery!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Many WOW moments: walking in the footsteps of Kings and Queens, authors, poets, smugglers, Romans, Aristocrats, Admirals and wizards. Entering Merlin's cave at Tintagel. Crossing the causeway at St. Michael's Mount at low tide and watching as high tide came in. Discovering cool sights and photo opportunities when taking our nightly family walks. Beachy Head was amazing as was Dartmoor. The uniqueness and beauty of each of the villages."

Beverley

Victoria, BC

Tour: 07/11/16

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was my first Rick Steves' tour and I really enjoyed the experience. Our tour guide Roy was excellent - very knowledgeable about the area, full of interesting bits of trivia and possessing a great sense of humour. We also had a very skilled driver, James, and he too had a wonderful sense of humour! I really enjoyed the variety of activities planned and seeing such a beautiful part of England. I also felt the size of our friendly group was just right.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Experiencing an unexpected organ performance in the little stone church across from The Three Crowns in Chagford where we were staying was truly delightful!"

Jay

Hailey, ID

Tour: 06/25/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fantastic!! For one who had never traveled to Europe this was the way to begin. Also, I am still trying to digest the nearly two week history lesson.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"hard to decide. Perhaps Portsmouth and visits to the HMS Victory and HMS Warrior; but also Batle of Hastings and seeing Magna Carta at Salisbury. Another wow was the skill of the bus driver."

Theresa

Petaluma, CA

Tour: 06/25/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour mates were such a fun group of people! We became a cohesive group very quickly and watched out for each other. The cities and sights were varied enough to appeal to each of us over the days: Portsmouth for naval history, Canterbury and Salisbury for cathedrals and stained glass windows, a copy of the Magna Carta(!!) in Salisbury, gardens and estates, moors in Dartmoor National Park, and King Arthur's castle in one of those cozy, funky Cornwall seaside towns.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing one of the four remaining copies of the Magna Carta and reading the text of it - so familiar in its concepts and even in its terminology, but so radical for its time."

Michael

Petaluma, CA

Tour: 06/25/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything was so well planned and thought out that the whole trip was a pleasure and everything it was advertised to be.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved the opportunity to learn about pasty making and to make and bake our own. The owner of the pasty company was a kick...so passionate about her trade."

Chuck

Marietta, GA

Tour: 06/25/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fascinating tour, a unique variety of things to see and do. History, gardens, castles, great food, this tour has it all. We have been to Europe many times, and this tour stood out because it was different than anything we had done previously.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many of these that it's hard to name just one. The day in Dartmoor was an "unreal" type experience.It would be hard to describe to someone, they would need to see it to appreciate that place. My second choice surprises me, but the baking lesson/demo put on by Marianne Simmons was an amazing venture. Many others, including Stonehenge, Canterbury Cathedral, the tunnels at Dover Castle, and the castle ruins at Tintagel."

Gary

High Springs, FL

Tour: 06/25/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour did so many varied things that we would not have done on our own. It gave us the time to enjoy the culture that we otherwise would have spent navigating from place to place. Our guide is a walking google search when it comes to the history and culture of South England. He turned an hour or two on the bus into a discussion on the significance of what we had just seen, or what we were about to see.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Canterbury Cathedral: We stayed on the grounds of the Cathedral for three nights and enjoyed full access to the grounds day and night. The tour of the Cathedral was very good from a historical and architectural perspective. The stained glass preservation was truly "wow" as the preservation process was explained and demonstrated by an artisan as knowledgable about the art of preserving the glass as Malcolm Miller (Chartres) is about the meaning of the glass."

Laura

Hailey, ID

Tour: 06/25/16

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Tour was very good. We were very busy with a variety of activities. Felt the sights and travel to each site were interesting and efficiently organized. Liked that we did not have to stay with the group at each location, but could pick aspects of the site that were most interesting to us. Most of the food was good, hotels were adequate Our tour guide was outstanding in his knowledge and care of the participants.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"At Canterbury cathedral, the stain glass curators gave an exceptional lecture about the stain glass and their work in preservation. Really exceptional in the depth of knowledge shared with us. Second favorite was st. Michael's Mount. Loved the walk over at low tide and boat back later. Found the site very interesting"

Carol

Marietta, GA

Tour: 06/25/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent. Would recommend the tour with Tom as guide to friends. We had a very good mix of tour participants. All had been in RS tours before. . Some had been on many RS tours. This was our second.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Beachy Head Canterbury Cathedral and stain glass restoration demonstration given by the director. (We joined the tour a day late and Missed the Dover castle and the tunnels which I know would have been good) "

Joanne

Bandon, OR

Tour: 06/18/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall the tour was a great time. The variety of interesting, beautiful sights we visited packed our days with all the excitement we could hope for. It was well planned, and organized, and your staff was always accommodating, helpful, and pleasant to be around. Hotels and food were great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved our day in Dartmore Park, hiking to see ancient stone circles etc., beautiful scenery, information about the structure of national parks in England, really privately owned property. Lots of fun!"

Charlie

Moraga, CA

Tour: 06/18/16

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Much more to see and do than expected, especially the beauty of the countryside and seashore. Great history and a very informative guide. Villages and towns very nice, especially Salisbury, which sort of embodied everything I think an English town should be. Very glad we went. All in all, though, would probably rate it below the Eastern France and Villages of Italy tours taken prior two years.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The gardens and castle at St. Michael's Mount. Walking through those amazing gardens terraced out of granite, thriving in the micro-climate the granite face created, was an amazing experience. The castle on top was interesting and made a beautiful setting even more spectacular. Also neat to see the causeway appear from the ocean when the tide receded and then be able to walk back to shore."

Cynthia

Georgetown, TX

Tour: 06/18/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour incorporated many aspects of Southern England from beautiful gardens, villages, cathedrals and tin mines. Interesting and enjoyable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The places we visited were diverse so hard to have only one WOW."

Grace

Kingwood, TX

Tour: 06/18/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was everything I had hoped it would be. Loved the slower pace of villages and the beauty of the Cornish coast. There was a good mix of history and just enjoying the beauty of the area. The pace of the tour was just about right, though as always, there are places one would like to remain longer. Thank you for offering this new tour-I highly recommend it.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"St Michael's Mount was by far my wow moment. I had no idea it even existed. The combination of boat ride over, walking to the top while the waves crashed below, and the jaw dropping gardens were capped only by the walk back via the Causeway. Loved every moment of that afternoon."

Jody

Vancouver, WA

Tour: 06/18/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour guide, Mark, was excellent. I like his relaxed style. One of my favorite days was exploring the Portsmith Historic Dockyard.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"see above"

Judith

Carson City, NV

Tour: 06/18/16

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Very nice tour companions, friendly and considerate. Very good tour guide with much information to impart. Very exciting time to be in Britain what with the Brexit voting and subsequent political maneuvering by members of parliment. good hotels, good pace of the overall tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The causeway at St. Michael's Mount which was submerged when we took the boat out to the Mount and then exposed when we walked back over it!!!"

Jean

Charles Town, WV

Tour: 06/18/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Tour was as described with a few changes. There were an awful lot of activities all of which were interesting especially the conservator workshop and the tin mine. We didn't get to do the pastymaking. I assume there will be some pruning after the first season. Dover castle and the Jane Austen gardens on the first day were a stretch.I feel like I'm still digesting what we did and saw.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Evensong at Salisbury Cathedral and stain glass workshop in Canterbury."

Norman

Corvallis, OR

Tour: 06/13/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a marvelous tour! Well thought out logistically, great variety of experiences, adequate free time, very doable amount of coach time - all what we expect from a Steves tour. The tour accomplished all of our objectives in visiting this part of England & introduced us to places/people/things we could not have done on our own & places where we'd like return.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Can't limit to just one, so (1) the Dartmoor day on the moors . . . history, stunning scenery, misty cool rain--what more could you ask for? (2) falcon demonstration at Corfe Castle totally captivating. Castle. . . another hill climb/bunch of rocks. Birds & handlers, now that's something very unusual. Tremendous experience! (3) Canterbury Cathedral stained glass workshop. Bettina gave us a whole new, deeper appreciation of stained glass/windows. What an opportunity!!"

Ernest

San Jose, CA

Tour: 06/13/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Roy was awesome, sites were great, lots of off-the-beaten-path locations. Weather was a bit dicey at times (typical England) but being there for Brexit was certainly interesting.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Notwithstanding Stonehenge (despite the hordes of people) and all the gardens, I would have to say Tintagel Castle. Truly spectacular location."

Nancy

Littleton, CO

Tour: 06/13/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I truly enjoyed my experience on this tour. It was refreshing visiting all the small villages-such a change from the big city! My tour mates were a delight and my tour guide very knowledgeable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Canterbury, Dover Castle, Beachy Head, Salisbury, Stonehenge, St. Michael's Mount, Bath--how can I choose?! They were each uniquely inspiring!"

Ruth

Des Moines, IA

Tour: 06/13/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I loved the tour. I got to see many parts of England that I had never seen before. I had several "back door" experiences, talking to locals, and learned a lot, not just about history, but also current events and so on. The tour members were interesting, friendly, helpful and on time, and Roy, the tour guide, was outstanding. There was the right amount of group time and private time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I don't know about "wow," but I enjoyed just sitting and looking at the ocean and the rocks and other things. The most fun was making pasties. I also was glad to have walked on the spongy moor. You can't tell from a picture what it is really like."

Rhonda

Austin, TX

Tour: 06/13/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I enjoyed all the different places and the activities. Roy was a wonderful guide and Ben was a superb coach driver!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow moment was Tintagel but running a close second was seeing our pasties come out of the oven and then getting to eat them!"

Carol

Gold Canyon, AZ

Tour: 06/13/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Where to start? Southern England was a treasure to explore and see. The weather did not always cooperate but it did not dampen our spirits. The trip was well rounded with many varieties of things to do and see.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Tintagel castle.......the ruins were amazing and the views left you breathless. The hills where the ruins sat were covered in shades of greens with wild flowers woven into among the grasses.... spectacular! Then you were greeted with the breath taking views of the coastline.......could of stayed longer and explored. Dartmoor national park was also a big wow moment....especially the moors. Our guide was great and made the area history and people come alive. We did amuse the eyeing cows!"

Fran

Elwood, IN

Tour: 06/13/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I really enjoyed the villages we went to. It was almost like going back in time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I can't say one wow moment. Stonehenge was a wow. Nelson's ship Victory was another wow. The shoreline in Cornwall was another."

Lisa

Sammamish, WA

Tour: 06/13/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a very fun tour and we really enjoyed our guide Roy with all his knowledge and great sense of humor. It was fun to see all the different places in England that we had not been to before.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Tintagel Castle. The views were spectacular."

Alan

Seattle, WA

Tour: 06/13/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

well done! perfect combination of organized and free time.enjoyed the walking and climbing, as well as relaxing on the bus and getting our guide Roy's insights on the local sights, culture, history, and politics.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"catching a concert in Salisbury cathedral on a free evening, and making Cornish pastys."

Marjorie

Corvallis, OR

Tour: 06/13/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a very good mix of activities, meals, hotels, and free time. Tour was flexible when there were weather issues. Well thought out!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The falconry demonstration at Corfe Castle was a once in a lifetime experience. Watching the birds and the falconers work in that setting was breathtaking. My ancestors came from England and have attended the Methodist church for generations. I stood on the edge of Gwennap Pit wishing I knew if any of my family heard John Wesley preach there. I came home with renewed interest and resolve to trace my family tree."

David

Cumming, GA

Tour: 05/23/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was great fun. The size of the group was just right. It allowed me to see this part of England without having to rent a car.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Tintagel Castle. The castle was so interesting and the landscape and views of Cornwall we outstanding. We spent the right amount of time here."

Catherine

Kingwood, TX

Tour: 05/23/16

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I've been on many Rick Steves tours, and this one ranks among the top ones. The south of England is special. I'm so glad I explored this region of England.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's hard to select just one. I thought Salisbury Cathedral was stunning. I also enjoyed scampering over the moors and granite rocks of Dartmoor. But I also found my experience of climbing about the ruins of Tintagel Castle and its surrounding area magical."

Marion

Hamden, CT

Tour: 05/23/16

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Great places, good group of folks, great places to stay. Only downside was the size of the bus vs places we wanted to go as we headed into Devon and Cornwall. And being stuck in traffic on last day heading to Bath was not a good way to end tour. Train from Exeter to Bath, or the like would have been much more pleasant. Hire a van to transport bags and do walk (with stop for tea?) to our hotel in Bath? would have been much easier all round.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Stained glass workshop in Canterbury was special! Head of workshop was great teacher. Tintangel great place - rustic and beautiful. Getting there early very worthwhile! And we were the on beautiful day."

Elsa

Raleigh, NC

Tour: 05/23/16

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall it was a great tour in a beautiful part of England where we enjoyed the many historical sights, quaint villages, churches, castles, gardens, and a magnificent countryside that was a delight to the eyes. Being a new tour though it did have a few rough edges: we did not get to go to Lyme Regis nor to Cape Cornwall because the roads were too narrow. The trip to Whitstable was unnecessary as was the train ride from Swanage to Corfe but I would keep the train ride to St. Ives.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think that for me the wow moment was seeing Salisbury Cathedral and then Stonehenge and I also very much enjoyed seeing the Victory ship. Have to mention too the beautiful green English countryside full of wildflowers and sheep."

Steve

Raleigh, NC

Tour: 05/23/16

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The overall itinerary is great. Beautiful scenery, both natural and man-made, combined with history, both previously known and brand new to me, and a variety of towns from villages to cities, in settings from green rolling moors to beautiful sandy or cliff-lined seasides. Oh, and I forgot the sheep and flowers which abound. And a pint or two of bitter in a rustic historic pub shouldn't be overlooked.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many outstanding sights and experiences on this trip. The obvious include Canterbury Cathedral, Salisbury Cathedral and the battlefield at Hastings. Add to these the white cliffs of the Jurassic coast, driving by countless beautiful sheep-filled moors and downs and countless Norman styled local churches, etc. But perhaps my WOW moment, because it was such a pleasant unanticipated surprise, was the spectacular cliff-side setting of Tintagel Castle on a blue sky day."

Lori

Brenham, TX

Tour: 05/23/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Words cannot accurately describe the fantastic tour experience. Even knowing I was participating as a "guinea pig" for one of the newest and brightest tours offered in 2016, I would not have made a different selection. Having waited a long time for a Southern Britain tour, this was one was pretty close to perfection. Canterbury, Cornwall, Dorset, and Dartmoor all surpassed my expectations. And having Gillian for a guide was phenomenal!!! She is BRILLIANT!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"How to choose 1 "wow" moment from amongst so many? I guess the best of the "wow" moments was on Dartmoor. Having a wild pony and her foal approach me so that they could sniff my hand and let me pet their muzzles was tops for someone who has left horses at home. All of the flora and fauna of Dartmoor is incredible."

Barbara

Doylestown, PR

Tour: 05/23/16

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I was aware the South England tour was new, so I realized there might be some bumps along the way. I sent some suggestions to the office a couple days after I returned home as I felt future Guides might want to make some alterations prior to getting my survey. The tour was wonderful, but I would suggest modifying the route to eliminate the long bus ride to Bath or boarding the train from Exeter to Bath allowing free time in Bath or a city walk for those who had never been there before.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My most memorable WOW moment was standing on Cornish soil! My paternal grandmother was born in Cornwall, and my great grandfather was a miner (tin?)there. I had goose bumps touring the underground tin mine as I felt I might be walking in his footsteps. I am grateful to Rick Steves for offering the South England tour that gave me the opportunity to touch my roots! Other highlights..Tintagel Castle,C Cathedral/stained glass demo, white cliffs hike, Dartmoor scenery and ponies, Pasty Bakery"

James

Huntsville, AL

Tour: 05/23/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This itinerary took us to places we had not seen before. It was exactly what we wanted. Gillian was an outstanding tour leader in every respect.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Tintagel and the coastal scenery. We were fortunate to have beautiful weather that day which made the experience truly great. It's a tough slog up the hill, but well worth the effort."

Catherine

Carmichael, CA

Tour: 05/23/16

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Southern England is so beautiful and historic. From the place where William the Conqueror won at the Battle of Hastings, to the beautiful and inspiring cathedrals of Canterbury and Salisbury, this is a fantastic place to see. I learned so much about English history, it was a complete joy. I enjoyed seeing where Jane Austen walked at Goodnestone Garden. Cornwall is a delight, particularly St. Ives with its sparkling beaches. .

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Highlights for me were the two lovely cathedrals in Canterbury and Salisbury, Stonehenge, Dover Castle, Dartmoor and the coast in Cornwall. Lots of fascinating history and green lush countryside, this is a beautiful part of England. I appreciated Gilliam sharing World War II information with us. The small villages with old Norman churches were fun to explore."

Larry

Tehachapi, CA

Tour: 05/23/16

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Although not as exotic as some of your others it still had a lot of charm. Canterbury cathedral's structure and history and the stained glass preservation/refurbishment were all wonderful. Forget Whitstable-along drive for mediocre food. the visits to the WWII sites and Battle Abbey gave meaning to history. Overall it was interesting to see places I have read about, but most of which I had never seen before.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Beachy Head because I have an aviation print titled Confrontation at beachy Head" showing an ME-109 and Spitfire passing head on over that exact spot. My second was the steam train ride. I am old enough to remember when all trains were steam."

Patricia

Cumming, GA

Tour: 05/23/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a great experience. We visited so many places and learned so much about English history. Gillian was a wonderful choice as guide. Her sense of humor got us thru traffic jams and tight roads that the bus could barely travel. Since the weather was good and sunny most of the time, we could have lingered longer at some of the outdoor stops like Beachy Head and Dartmoor park.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Dartmoor national park. Seeing the ruins, out cropping, and hiking trails. Having a guide, Tom, made it such a meaningful day. I really could have spent more time here and don a longer hike. However, the weather was perfect so I might not have felt that way if it had been a rainy day."

Judith

Elk Grove, CA

Tour: 05/09/16

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This wonderful tour epitomized the back door experience. Much of the travel was through beautiful rural England in the spring. Roy's favorite flower, blue bells, became ours. Dartmoor was alive with the foals of its iconic ponies. The views of Britain's defenses reminded us of "how history might have been different." I loved the areas near some of my PBS favorite shows, the Cornwall coast, and a real tin mine.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"On the stormiest day of the tour, we crossed a tidal channel from near St. Ives to St. Michael Mount. With rain still pounding we climbed the steps and slopes to the castle and church, where the rain and wind lessened for us to marvel at the view. The church was the most beautifully intimate of the trip with stained glass that depicted the actual seventeenth century faces of its former residents."

Ellie

Los Angeles, CA

Tour: 05/09/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour itinerary was perfect in every way. It was everything I hoped it would be, expected it to be, and more than I feel I paid for -- as has each of the several Rick Steves tours I've been on previously.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many! Staying inside the precincts of Canterbury Cathedral and seeing it lit at night, feeling the atmospheric moodiness of Dartmoor, the loveliness of medieval Rye, a sunny afternoon walking along the edge of the White Cliffs of Dover, lying on the grass and contemplating the mystery of Stonehenge, the panoramic coastal views from atop Tintagel, a real steam train ride, feeling completely alive in the rain and wind walking almost the entire perimeter of St Ives, the list goes on..."

Jane

Sapulpa, OK

Tour: 05/09/16

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

We had a wonderful time. This was a part of England we had never seen, and we loved the tour and places we stopped. It was interesting being on a new tour; it was obvious on some occasions that the guides were just tossing activities out there to see what worked. The only negative thing about that is, it limited our free time, and didn't let us do some of the things that we had been looking forward to. For example, our visit to Alfriston was pretty much wasted, since we arrived late and left.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Probably the walk on the South Downs, along Beachy Head was it for me. We had beautiful weather, spectacular scenery, rolling hills, and chalk cliffs. Our guides even provided materials for a toast to one of our travel friends who was celebrating a birthday. A great day. Number 2 would be the stained glass workshop at Canterbury. A super learning experience."

Donna

Edmonton, AB

Tour: 05/09/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Another awesome tour with this company.The itinerary was full of incredible places . Loved the Canterbury & Salisbury Cathedral's; Dover castle; Bronze age ruins;Steam train to Swanage; Corfe castle,the fields of blossoming bluebells,Battle of hastings,Portsmouth and the HMS Victory,St.Ives. St. Michaels mount, Trelissic gardens and making our own pasties! Roy and Debi Jo were kind, knowledgeable , helpful and they helped make the trip such a great experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were a couple of places that stood out amongst all of the great places we visited. Walking the cliffs at Beachyhead(Dover area) was incredible! Titagel castle was also spectacular. Stonehenge is a jaw dropping wow!"

Caroline

Brooksville, FL

Tour: 05/09/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I couldn't wait to take this tour and it exceeded my expectations! It had it all, ruins from ancient times, many castles, churches and cathedrals, one with murder and martyrdom, beautiful beaches, mysterious moors, historic battlefields, naval ships and history, WWII battle planning sites and tunnels, quaint villages, gardens, brewery and pasty experiences, tin mines, steam trains, cream teas...the list goes on and on.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wow day! Romney Marsh, stroll and lunch in charming village of Rye, Battle of Hastings Abbey and Museum, stop at Pevensey's Roman and Norman castle ruins where William the Conquer came ashore, Eastbourne beach font drive The walk along the cliffs at Beachy Head where we toasted a tour buddy's birthday. A yummy group dinner in quaint Alfriston with enough daylight left to explore the village's nooks and crannies stopping to share a glass of wine with new tour friends"

Donald

Columbus, GA

Tour: 05/09/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was great, as usual. Not everything was "perfect", it never is, but then one has to be adaptable when traveling with a group or independently. I have no complaints whatsoever about the tour. It was all I expected and more.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Walking along the white chalk cliffs at Beachy Head"

David

Sitka, AK

Tour: 05/09/16

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my second Rick Steves tour,and I really enjoyed it. I had never been to southern England,other than Folkestone so this was all new to me. I wanted to be on this tour ever since I heard about it from Roy Nicholls last year.I think That Debi Jo and Roy did a great job in putting it together.I really like the the way the Tour gives you a nice mix of organized time with plenty of free time, that gives you time to breathe.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"That would have to be seeing the HMS Victory and the related exhibits in Portsmouth,just jaw dropping. Im a big history buff, And they did a great job of putting it all together. And just being on the Victory was inspiring. Roy really loved the the story of the HMS victory And his knowledge and enthusiasm really came thru.There were other wow moments also,Dover castle And Tintagel castle."

Debra

Celina, TX

Tour: 05/09/16

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

First of all, Roy and Debi Jo were terrific guides. This was my third tour with Roy as our guide. Overall, I feel this was a wonderful tour with lots of extras. As this was the first tour, the itinerary was adjusted and some experiences ran longer than expected. This caused our free time to be limited.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were way too many for just one. A few wow's were: walking along the White Cliffs, the Dartmoor walk, and the morning spent at Tintagel Castle."

Gerald

Brooksville, FL

Tour: 05/09/16

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I enjoyed exploring the small villages and was glad the tour didn't spend time in busy cities like London. I thought the countryside and farms were outstanding.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The tour of the HMS Victory in Portsmouth and the walk at Beachy Head"

Weather

England / London

London Weather

Pre-Tour Planning

We've put together some specific information on what you should know about this tour before you go. You'll also find more general information about "Getting Ready for Your Tour" on our Tour FAQ.

Trip Resources

Learn more about England: Check out a collection of Rick's TV shows, radio interviews, and articles, plus recommended books and movies.

Tour Hotels

In case you wish to book pre- or post-tour hotel accommodations, the contact information for the tour's first and last hotels is included in your tour confirmation email. About one month prior to the tour departure, we'll email you directions on how to get from the airport to your first tour hotel, as well as the complete list of hotels where we'll be staying while on tour.

Transportation

Many tour members arrive a day or two before the tour begins — and those who don't, wish they had. This allows you ample time to get over jet lag and make the most of the first few days of the tour.

London is a major transportation hub, making additional travel before or after your tour quite easy. This tour begins in Canterbury and ends in Bath. It is easiest to fly in and out of London and train or bus to/from Canterbury and Bath. Direct trains to Canterbury are available from central London. Departing Bath, direct trains connect to central London. Alternatively you can travel to both Heathrow and Gatwick airports on a direct National Express coach (bus); schedules can be found at the National Express website.

For information about flying within Europe, ask your travel agent or check Rick's list of European budget airlines.

Read Rick's train travel and rail pass tips and decide if your travel plans merit a rail pass.

If you need more information about additional European travel or for specific questions about your tour, contact the Tour Department at 425-608-4217 or email tour@ricksteves.com.

Sightseeing on Your Own

If you arrive in Canterbury before your tour begins, use the Rick Steves England guidebook to get oriented. Ride the public transportation and get over your jet lag with lots of fresh air and exercise.

Here are a few suggestions for sightseeing in Canterbury that we will not do as a group: Canterbury Tales, Roman Museum, day trip to Leeds Castle. If you'd rather spend your pre-tour time in London, it is about an hour train ride from Canterbury.

Packing

England can be wet and slippery. We recommend you bring a pair of comfortable walking shoes with soles offering good traction, and you may wish to pack a water-resistant jacket any time of the year.

For more advice on what (and what not!) to pack, see Rick's packing tips.

Special packing note: We use an audioguide system for many of our sightseeing and museum tours. If you wear a hearing aid, we strongly recommend bringing headphones that go over your ears to allow you to fully enjoy these tours.