england scotland wales

How in depth were the tours of Holyroodhouse and Edinburgh castle? It seems tha day 1 is pretty busy with Stirling castle and other activities. Taking this tour September 4 2016

Comments

  • I think you mean tour day 2. Interestingly the 2017 itinerary moves Stirling to the afternoon of day 1 - the arrival day. Was told by Tauck it's because day 2 had too much happening on it. This may come as a surprise to some Tauck travelers used to day 1 being just checking into the hotel and having dinner.
  • edited August 2016
    Things may have changed since then, but in 2013-

    We boarded the bus for a ride through parts of Edinburgh. We stopped and had a tour of a part of Holyroodhouse and a short amount of free time to wander the grounds and the ruins of the attached abbey. We had a guided tour of the throne room, dining room, some royal bedrooms, a portrait gallery of all former kings and queens, and the bedroom of Mary Queen of Scots and an anti-room where her secretary was murdered in front of her. The abbey ruins were interesting.

    We got back on the bus and had a drive-by of the nearby Dynamic Earth modern science center and the new, ultra-modern parliament building, before arriving at Edinburgh Castle.

    In my opinion Edinburgh Castle was a bit disappointing- we walked past the tattoo parade ground and reviewing stands through the entrance and up a steep hill to the castle. The castle was fairly crowded that day. We walked around a section of ramparts, into tiny St Margaret's chapel (oldest building in Edinburgh?), and nearby open spaces, but did not enter any other buildings (war and regimental museums, ceremonial guard barracks, etc.) before standing in a very slow moving line which took us past a few interpretive displays to two small rooms where we saw the "Stone of Destiny" (Stone of Scone) and the less-than-impressive Crown Jewels. There was no VOX, guide, or narration while in line or while viewing the crown jewels. Despite being Scotland's most-visited paid tourist attraction, the castle was a real ho-hum experience. It makes for better photographs (from a distance) than it does an actual place to tour. Remember, to this day, parts of the castle have been in continual use as a military post and barracks and much altered since Victoria. After the castle we had the afternoon free- to eat lunch, walk the Royal Mile, enter St. Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh museum, etc.

    Photography was prohibited inside both places.

    Castle entrance and Military Tattoo reviewing stands:

    IMG_4931r.jpg


    The backside of the castle reveals its barracks-like appearance

    IMG_4899r1.jpg

  • I haven't been to Edinburgh castle for about 40 years. I am glad that Alan agrees with what I remember about it, that I really do not know what all the fuss is about. The castle is impressive from a distance but that is about it. I do find that appreciate details more now I am older but I cannot believe it can have changed much. There are many other impressive castles and ancestral homes in Scotland. I particularly enjoyed The Castle of Mey, the Queen mother's Scottish home a few years ago.
  • Does anyone have a list of the plays & restaurants offered through Tauck while in London?
  • Does anyone have a list of the plays & restaurants offered through Tauck while in London?

    My wife and I were on the August 17,2016 tour. The plays offered were Jersey Boys, In the Heights, and Thriller. We ate at Green Leaf, an Indian restaurant which was very good. I don't recall the other restaurants.
  • edited September 2016
    Does anyone have a list of the plays & restaurants offered through Tauck while in London?

    I think it is likely that they may not be the same shows all the time. If you are thinking of getting tickets in advance of your trip, I would call Tauck to verify or you could do like I did on my recent August trip to London---Many of the theatres are very near the Savoy, so you can literally walk into a box office and get tickets for that evening, which I did for one show, or get the concierge to find tickets for the day of, that is what I did for my In The Heights and got a fantastic front row seat for 59 pounds. But that theatre is I think it was a ten pound taxi ride away, too far to walk.
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