Hi, can anyone tell me the amount of time that is spent on the bus traveling from town to town? Also, the average age and activity level of the tour participants? And finally, would anyone recommend spending the extra money for the small group departures?
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I hope someone can let me know about the bus time on this particular tour.
1) Edinburgh to Langdale: 180 miles, 3.5 hr
2) Langdale to Portmeirion: 200 miles, 3.7 hr
3) Portmeirion to Bath: 200 miles, 4.7 hr
The countryside is scenic, and we had no problem with the longer bus rides on travel days. The bus made frequent stops, so we were not sitting on the bus for long stretches without a break.
We were participants in a small group tour of 25 people, and I highly recommend small group tours. There was plenty of room on the bus for couples who wanted to spread out when desired. Sometimes it is nice for both members of a couple to have a window for picture taking or better viewing. Other times it is just nice to have the extra space. We had our assigned seats that went through a rotation, but there were many rows of seats in the back of the bus that people could use when desired. No one monopolized the extra seats.
The small group made it easier to be closer to local guides, and there were fewer people to block views at the various sites. Bus loading and unloading was quicker with the small group. Rest room lines were short.
We had a wonderful tour with a great tour director and bus driver!
Tauck has been doing this tour for many years and they have figured out how to efficiently visit sites to maximize the enjoyment of the tour group members.
Was there places en-route for laundry or did you get the hotels along the way to do it??
Any other little tidbits that you can remember would be greatly appreciated!!
We have decided to book the June tour next year.
Langdale had a self-service laundry which we discovered after we had already hand-washed our underwear. It may have been the only hotel with a self-service laundry. This would be a good question for Tauck Emily to answer.
In general we tend to over-pack, so on a typical land-based trip we take enough clothes that we can avoid doing laundry. On cruise ships we do some loads of laundry. For this trip we tried to change our ways and limit ourselves to one suitcase each. We were on travel for three weeks with the extra time we spent in Edinburgh and London. We decided to take enough outerwear for the trip, but planned on washing underwear the first night at each hotel. This is the first time we traveled using this approach. We purchased two travel clotheslines which don't require clothespins. You can find them on Amazon or Magellan. We purchased 3 large carbiners at REI, and used one to hook the two short clotheslines together and the other two to attach the clotheslines to towel rods, etc. We purchased individual packets of Woolite on Amazon to wash our underwear in the sink. The clothes dried more quickly if you rolled them first in a towel to wring out excess water. We packed some extra very large plastic bags and packed the damp clothes in them if they did not dry in time for our next move.
The other alternative is to have the hotel do the laundry, which would be somewhat expensive.
We are not a fan of doing laundry by hand while on travel, but it is doable.
From the Terms and Conditions associated with booking a room on the web: Checkout is noon unless a later time is stated as part of the booking. Late checkout after this time can be requested subject to availability and will be charged an hourly rate at the discretion of the hotel.
I suppose you could always checkout and have the bellman hold your bags.
By the way, we took a cruise on the Thames to Greenwich to visit the Observatory and the Maritime Museum. There were lots of interesting timekeeping pieces on display at the Observatory. It is worth a visit if you have time.
One could take the boat in both directions, but we chose to return by DLR (light rail). When the boat reached Greenwich, we picked up a map of the town in the visitor center. We then hailed a cab and took it to the Observatory to avoid the steep hill. After visiting the Observatory, we walked down the hill to the Maritime Museum, and finally to the DLR station. It was a nice outing.
When you arrive at the Edinburgh Waverley train station, look for the taxi stand within the station. You do not need to exit the station to get a cab. If you get a receipt from the taxi driver, your tour director can then reimburse you for the transfer.
It was a nice journey by train, and it was certainly more relaxing than a commuter flight.