Daily Archives: July 21, 2012

Top spots to see the Royal Family in Britain

So you’re going to London to visit the Queen. But where to find her? Well, there’s a good chance she (or one of the other Royals) might just be out and about at one of the locations below – and not just in London either. We can’t promise a royal audience but if you’re in the right place at the right time you might just get a royal wave. Read on to discover Her Majesty’s favourite hangouts…

Buckingham Palace, London, England
Buckingham Palace is not only a London landmark but the official London residence of the British monarch. Nineteen state rooms in the palace are open for public viewing each summer, from late July through early October, with complimentary audio tours. Visitors to the palace should be sure to keep their eyes peeled; Her Majesty has been spotted strolling through the gardens with her Corgi dogs and is known to enjoy a sneaky peek at visitors admiring her home.

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Windsor Castle, Windsor, England
Just a quick jaunt by train from London, Windsor Castle is one of the Queen’s official residences and where she spends most weekends. Open year-round, visitors have been known to spot the Queen through the windows overlooking her garden. Locals have also said they often see Her Majesty the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh departing down the long driveway in Windsor Great Park. Your chances go up if you visit around Easter, when she takes up residence for a month.

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Anglesey, Wales
The chances of spotting the Queen in Wales are on the rise with Prince William, her grandson, living in Anglesey to work as a search and rescue helicopter pilot. Prince William is said to be enjoying his time there, taking in the beautiful Welsh scenery as he flies over Snowdonia National Park. He’s also been sampling the local cuisine – including an Anglesey burger van, ‘The Flaming Grill,’ that he loved so much he gave them the Royal Seal of Approval.

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Anglesey

Balmoral Estate, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
One of the Royals’ favourite summertime retreats is Balmoral, set amongst the magnificent scenery of Royal Deeside. Here you might spot the Queen as your neighbour – as you can take up residence on the same property where the Queen stays by renting a lovely cottage on the Balmoral estate. The grounds, gardens and exhibitions are open to the public from April 1 through July 31.

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Queen’s Birthday Celebrations, London, England
Trooping the Colour is an annual event to mark the Queen’s official birthday. Held every June in central London, Trooping the Colour is the biggest royal event of the year with Her Majesty the Queen always in attendance. Tickets for the parade are in short supply but if you don’t manage to snag one for yourself, just stand along The Mall, which runs from Buckingham Palace to Admiralty Arch for a great chance of spotting the Queen.

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Trooping the Colour

Royal Ascot, Ascot, Berkshire, England
Attend the horse races at Royal Ascot and there is always a good chance of spotting the Queen and Prince Phillip in a horse drawn carriage during the Royal procession. Dating back to 1711, these prestigious races are held annually in the third week of June. Her Majesty is known to take a keen interest in the historic Royal Ascot races and she has owned 20 winners over the years.

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Royal Ascot

Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh, Scotland
Positioned at the end of Edinburgh’s historic Royal Mile, Holyrood Palace is used by the Queen for one week at the beginning of each summer when she carries out a range of official engagements and ceremonies. Steeped in history and perhaps best known as the home of Mary, Queen of Scots, Holyrood Palace adds to the historic atmosphere of the Royal Mile. Her Majesty has often been spotted leaving Holyrood in her car – chauffeur driven, of course.

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Chelsea Flower Show, London, England
As Patron of the Royal Horticultural Society, the Queen regularly attends the opening of the Chelsea Flower Show. This event is a regular fixture in the Royal calendar and Her Majesty is often accompanied by other Royals. If you are in Britain in late May, this is a great opportunity to possibly catch a glimpse of Queen Elizabeth II. And a top opportunity to see some of the world’s most innovative gardens.

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Chelsea Flower Show

Braemar Highland Gathering, Scotland
The patron of Scotland’s best-known Highland Games is none other than Queen Elizabeth II herself and this celebration of traditional Scottish sport and culture is almost always attended by members of the Royal Family. The Gathering is always held on the first Saturday in September and is the place to see tossing the caber, Scottish country dancing, pipe bands and more.

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Madame Tussauds, London, England
If all else fails there is always one place you are guaranteed to meet the Queen – and even shake her hand! Madame Tussauds is a top London visitor attraction and just a stone’s throw away from Regent’s Park and the bright lights of the West End. Her Majesty can be spotted there, or at least a waxwork version of her, along with the likes of Prince Charles and his two sons William and Harry. It might not be the real deal but it could be the closest you’ll get so don’t forget your camera!

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Kate & William at Madame Tussauds, London

  – Visit Britain – http://www.visitbritain.com/en/GB/

Best Value Tourswww.SightseeingTours.co.uk

10 quick day tours outside of London during the Olympics

London is a tremendously vibrant and energetic city that is the home to some of the greatest museums, nightclubs and restaurants in the world. However, with the 2012 Olympics taking place over the next few weeks, the streets of England’s capital are destined to be a little more hectic with sports lovers from around the country, continent and world set to visit.

For those of you who are looking to spend the next few weeks in London, but do not have every day filled with Olympic inspired events, here are some fun places that you can visit in a day.

Windsor Castle

Windsor Castle

Stonehenge

Near Salisbury and within two hours of London this prehistoric monument has become a central part of English folklore. This collection of stones were dragged across the country 5,000 years ago and have plagued the minds of archaeologists since their arrival.

Here is a link for more information on Stonehenge. To get to Stonehenge from London you can get the train from Waterloo station.

Bath

This unique city is surrounded by archaic architecture with Roman Baths, Abbeys and springs all within a short walking distance of the city’s central train station. All of this illustrious history is also surrounded by a host of city centre shops and is largely free of traffic.

 

Here is a link for more information on Bath. To get to Bath from London you can get the train from London Paddington.

 

Winchester

The former capital of England, Winchester has an unspoilt cathedral which was built in the 11th century and is the burial site of several Kings. It’s only an hour from London so can easily be combined with a trip to another city on the same day.

Here is a link for more information on Winchester. To get to Winchester from London you can get the train from London Waterloo.

Canterbury

This World Heritage Site has 2 castles, 6 museums and a spectacular cathedral, with Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales having immortalised the area. Only an hour train journey from central London, this is the ideal day trip venue for people visiting the city.

Here is a link for more information on Canterbury. To get to Canterbury from London you can get the train from London Charing Cross, London St Pancreas or London Victoria.

Stratford-upon-Avon

The birthplace of William Shakespeare, Stratford keeps it’s building’s aesthetics akin to the era of the great bard with many of the town’s buildings adorned with black and white timber frames. A sensational place to visit and shop at with many street performers filling the streets to evoke a creative vibe.

Here is a link for more information on Stratford-upon-Avon. To get to Stratford-upon-Avon from London you can get the train from London Marylebone.

Warwick Castle

A wonderful venue to visit in the summer, Warwick Castle has several dominating intact towers and ramparts surrounding its walls and is a picturesque tourist attraction. Archery, falconry and jousting each take place during the few warm weeks of the season.

Here is a link for more information on Warwick Castle. To get to Warwick Castle from London you can get the train from London Marylebone.

Cambridge

Most famous for its university, Cambridge is also the home to several gothic style College buildings that run alongside the city’s tremendous parks and grass. You can even enjoy punting along the River and the magnificent King’s College chaple is one of England’s greatest wonders.

Here is a link for more information on Cambridge. To get to Cambridge from London you can get the train from London Liverpool Street.

Oxford

Another infamously academic city and the home to one of the world’s greatest universities, Oxford is know as the “City of Dreaming Spires”. The city’s glorious courtyards and buildings have inspired generations of writers and scholars and several scenes from the Harry Potter movies were filmed there.

Here is a link for more information on Oxford. To get to Oxford from London you can get the train from London Paddington.

Windsor Castle

An official residence of The Queen, this castle is the largest and oldest in the world and has been a Royal home for over 900 years. Located within an hour of London, Windsor Castle is surrounded by a host of greenery and is a perfect place to witness the Windsor Changing of the Guard.

Here is a link for more information on Windsor Castle. To get to Windsor Castle from London you can get the train from London Waterloo.

Brighton

Looking for a relaxing city within a short distance of London where you can stroll along the beach, shop and drink, then Brighton is the city for you.

Here is a link for more information on Brighton. To get to Brighton on the train from London you can catch the train from London Victoria.
Needless to say all these tours can be booked through ‘The Sightseeing Tours’ website at discount proces

By Gregory Wakeman | Yahoo! Contributor Network

BestValueTours – www.SightseeingTours.co.uk

London 2012: A tourist’s guide to the transport system

Here’s some friendly advice for tourists and Olympic visitors to try and make the transport experience as easy as possible.

Do yourself a favour, save some money and get an Oyster Card

Do yourself a favour, save some money and get an Oyster Card

  1. Get an Oyster card – if you’re travelling a lot it’s far cheaper. Or get a one day, or weekly, Travelcard which gives you unlimited travel for particular zones if you are making lots of journeys.
  2. Avoid cash fares at all costs. You’ll find a breakdown of fares here.
  3. Do let people off trains before you get on.
  4. Do stand on the right on escalators – if you don’t, Londoners love saying “excuse me” to people in the way on the left.
  5. Get a map. The Tube map is not representative of actual distances. Sometimes it’s much easier and much more pleasant to walk. For example Embankment is 200m from Charing Cross.
  6. By all means try and talk to people in the carriage or on the bus – if they ignore you they’re not being rude, that’s the London norm.
  7. If the weather is hot and you get the Tube, be prepared for sauna conditions on some lines like the Victoria and the Northern. The top deck of some buses can also get very toasty.
  8. Do get your Oyster Card ready before you approach the gates – do not do it once you are blocking the gate.
  9. Be aware you don’t have to press the door “open” button on the Tube: if you do, it’s a clear sign you’re new to town. However on overland trains you do have to press the “open” button on the doors – and no, I don’t know why there’s this difference.
  10. Even if there are no gates on, for example, the Docklands Light Railway, always touch out with your Oyster Card – sometimes you need to look carefully to find the yellow circular readers. If you don’t it will charge you a full fare – about £7.
  11. Don’t be afraid to ask directions. Helping lost tourists is a badge of honour for some Londoners (I’m not vouching for the directions though). Or ask the Tube / bus staff – normally they are pretty nice.
  12. If you are lucky enough to have tickets for the Games then you will need to leave plenty of time to get there. The Get Ahead of the Games website shows you what it will be like.
  13. If you use a night bus, be prepared for anything

Travel Editor
Best Value Tourswww.SightseeingTours.co.uk