Castles and kings August 23, 2015

Very excited for this trip. We are a family of four with a 13 year old boy and 9 year old girl.

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  • edited August 2015
    My family just finished the 7/23/15 tour of the Castles & Kings
    Just about all places fine with pics ( no flash)-- the crown jewels & doll house- is the only NO! So if you must "break rules" - put cell phone in silent mode & do a few quick picks but "without lifting to you eye."...wait till guard yells at the stupid tourist doing it the obvious way & then that's you chance.... you should be able to get a few ok ones.

    RHG hotel DOES have courtesy umbrellas in lobby (it did rain 2 days)
    The speed boat ride was the day in rain...but outfitter had rain jackets, pants, & eye ware so you did stay relative dry.

    The Pub night restaurant was very good & tauck paid for all the drinks -(alcohol & reg) not just the 1st one.
    Our bike ride (easy to ride & flat ground- they had 3 speeds & some 10 speeds both girl & boys styles) was in Hype park & went by the Lady Di mem fountain
    Spy-walk was in Mayfair section- you receive binder with extreme close up pictures of parts of buildings and complete basically a square around a park looking for the clues & answering questions...finishes in a pub

    We did do on Own the changing of guard at Buk palace but the more FUN & interactive & musical one was the one we did see with the Group when we went to Windsor Caste - so you can decide if need to see buk pal one own own.-
    The 1st day double decker bus orientation tour did Stop (and we got out) at buck palace in afternoon & could get a pic of guard & palace & plaza

    Trafalgar's square & Big Ben are SO close to hotel- nice to record the chime. The National Gallery & Nation Museum are easy to do on the pre-day if you have one- doesn't take long to do. Make sure go back at night to see fountain & statues lite up in changing LED lights ...The gift shops around that block between hotel & square do stay open late

    Was some nice places for Lunch after Windsor castle area (before get on bus) ... they had a fudge shop & an Asian buffet for 8.95- quick, good,& cheap.... ( Tauck may surprise you with some spending cash)

    EVERYONE love the Charlie & Choc factory show..most in 1st 2 rows - front row center!!!!
    Get ready for a quick "SNEAK” your camera out & get a quick shot- might be a surprise (since no pics allowed) shot after intermission...

    Sherlock Holmes restaurant/pub is close to hotel, has the fish & chips, & the "pies ( pot pies) & has "take away" beer..."ITSO" is close to hotel & has very good sushi & Asian fusion- sit down or take away..
    there are "five guys" & "McDonalds" . "pizza hut" close by - if you must. Oh wait- they are good bathroom spots or the peanuts at 5 guys. ha ha

    Easy walk at train station across plaza when leave England for Paris to get picture with the harry potter 9 3/4 track

    HIGHLY recommend on own in Paris free night to do an evening river cruse ...was 7 euro for kids, 14adults (less than cost of a movie) & got to see Eifel tower, Notre Dame, the bridges, etc. all lite up. Concierge at hotel had several to choose- was within walking distance

    on day one in Paris we did go to 2nd floor of Eifel tower (late afternoon) as part of group tour- even though tauck is mysterious with not consistently printing it
    The Champs-Elysees & ARCH is a do-able walk from hotel but is a little further to get started then people tell you. A group of us did young & old. & where fine. street vendor as you start you walk up is cheap & good... all the way up just shy of hitting the arch was a nice- not expensive outdoor dining location we stopped for crepes, pizza, & beer.

    and there is NO POOL at either hotel.- Sorry kids- need to do that at home.
    You can get feet wet at the Lady di fountain on bike ride.- I did



  • edited August 2015
    As DrPepper mentioned there are some decent places for lunch at Windsor Castle. We didn't have time to walk into town and if you are short on time too or if it is busy don't waste time trying to decide where to eat- I know that is not easy with kids! For a quick bite there is a sandwich shop (similar to a Pret A Manger) just inside the entrance to Windsor Royal Station/Windsor Royal Shopping (you'll pass through here on the way to/from the bus park.) I think it is just inside the entrance on the left in my photo. There are other places to eat here and along the adjacent street as well

    And, when you get to London, if you or your kiddos are craving a Coke or other soft drink with a decent amount ice (self-dispensed, American portion) there is a small Subway restaurant about a 1/2 block from the Royal Horesguards- it is located at 19-20 Embankment Pl- just past the stairs to the Jubilee bridge in the underpass shoppping area (Embankment Place) below the rail lines. Turn right onto Whitehall Ct. as you leave the Horseguards, then take an immediate right onto Whitehall Pl, cross Northumberland Ave and continue into Embankment Place.

    You can GoogleMaps both areas to see what is there.

    Back at the RHG, if the Canadian bar tender is on duty, he will understand and provide you with a drink with a decent amount of ice as well.

    It may not seem like it, but after two weeks of E,S,W, with little or no ice in our drinks, it was no small pleasure to have as much as we wanted!

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  • Hi Alan, I guess I have still never caught on to the loads of ice with a drink. It was odd noticing that in New Zealand on our last tour they did not give any ice either. Without a straw the ice always seems to hit me on the nose, any tips on avoiding that without the addition of a straw that is an extra throw away item that might be avoided to save the planet, are very welcome! Cheers to love of live warm beer too, vive la difference!
  • keep in mind- lemonade means more of a lemon/lime soda- like sprite in England. Ask for "Still lemonade" if you want the real thing. and pickle usually means a pickled relish side not the sandwich pickle. Pies are more like the pot pies we are use to.
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